Film Review: “Borat 2” (2020)

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Back in 2006, when I first saw “Borat”, I went into shock, to put it lightly. Prior to that, I’d never had to watch a film that would go beyond the moral compass in disregard towards the audience with one goal only – to test the intellect of those who were forced one way or another to see the film that literally did not have much to offer. In 2020, my views have not changed nor my tastes in films except for one thing – I have changed my geo-location, which helped me understand the concept of Borat better, but still have no clue why it’s considered to be so funny when it is just appalling and gross altogether?

Filmed in complete secrecy, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” follows a well-known but an already disgraced Kazakh journalist, Borat Sagdiyev, who is sent to Gulag prison to serve a life sentence. However, the country’s premier, Nursultan Nazarbayev (in real life, he was the president of Kazakhstan and now serves as the Chairman of the Security Council of Kazakhstan) offers a mission to Borat to redeem the country by sending him back to the United States with Johnny the Monkey as a bribe to President Donald Trump.

However, as you can imagine, nothing goes as planned since the monkey was eaten or just ‘ate’ itself on its way in the box with Tutar (incredible Maria Bakalova who must get a special Award for bravery), Borat’s daughter. Tutar represents the immigrant kids still being kept at the Immigrations Detention Centers in cages. Tutar herself was raised in one. Borat, does the same, by allowing her to stay in the same cage after travelling to the United States. When missions fail one after another, Borat comes up with another insane idea – to have his daughter, Tutar, handed over to Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, forever.

I can go on and on about the events that occur in the film which I hardly found funny. But they were thought-provoking only for those who accept the challenge. However, you are not supposed to see the film that is mainly offensive, disrespectful and one-sided. While one can hope that Sacha Baron Cohen’s intention will work out, in terms of making the film help undecided voters to make up their mind before U.S presidential elections, it still does not justify the means. The film is harsh, unpleasant, unfashionable and utterly awful.

The only scene that provides a certain level of satisfaction is the interview scene between Tutar and Giuliani, which I must admit, cannot be missed. Also, apart from English, the two lead actors, Cohen and Bakalova, speak foreign languages – Cohen in Hebrew and Bakalova in Bulgarian, claiming that Americans would not be able to understand the difference, which is highly arguable. Not only Americans, but many people on our planet cannot tell the difference between one foreign language and another if they’ve never heard it before. It always sounds similar until they begin paying close attention. So, if Cohen tried to embarrass Americans, as someone who speaks five languages and understands eight, I must break this to him – he fails to prove any point here.

There are a lot of scenes that are purely disgusting and unwatchable. But because of Maria Bakalova’s stellar performance, you should certainly give it a try to see a one-of-a-kind acting you won’t be able to see otherwise. Yes, the film aims to unveil the dark side of Trump’s presidency and its followers, mainly the Republicans. It opens up their hypocrisy, the narrow-mindedness and how easily they can get brainwashed. I am all for artistic creativity and exposure. However, the rationale behind humiliating Kazakhstan is what stuns me the most as Kazakhstani people are one of the most educated people who will never accept a character like Borat to be associated with them.

The credit must go to director Jason Woliner, who handles a truly difficult material. This is why calling him the reason for the film’s failure would be unfair. “Borat 2” is the type of film that will always find its audience, which is wider than we can imagine. And that’s the sad part about it when we use insult as a language to offend and downgrade people instead of showing them an intellectual way of expressing ideas and differences that, perhaps, would help achieve goals in a far better way than what Sacha Baron Cohen pursued with “Borat 2”, which is a shame in its own way.

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