In 2006, America was hit over the head with our own stupidity with Sacha Baron Cohen’s mockumentary, Borat, and it was outrageously hilarious. For years, Cohen has said that he was not going to film a sequel mainly due to people too easily recognize him and the Borat character now. However, under the veil of people who only watch Fox News, COVID-19, and a relatively unknown actress to American audiences, Maria Bakalova, joining in on the stunts, Cohen has managed to film an entire movie in secrecy despite the hints all around our news coverage.
The Borat series sees Sacha Baron Cohen disguising himself as his Borat character, a reporter from Kazakhstan, going around different types of Americans, and, through various situations, reveals the true nature of many unexpecting American people. This sequel sees the Borat character trying to give away his daughter Tutar, played by Maria Bakalova, to someone within the American government so that he can be exonerated in Kazakhstan and so she can be the next “Queen Melania”.
Like the first film, the mirror that Borat 2 holds up to the American people is hilarious and cringe-inducing. From looking at the beauty-centric Instagram influencers, absurdist Qanon supporters, to just average everyday people, Sacha Baron Cohen effectively sets up absurd situations and just shows us how we would react. However, with the current political and anti-research climate America is currently under in this election cycle, now was a perfect time for one of his films. With all the time we’ve supposed to have been spending at home, it is insane that Cohen was able to film this under the cover of COVID without being found out by our extra time spent on our news programs (particularly scenes involving a Trump rally and another with VP Mike Pence).
The addition of Maria Bakalova was one I was a little apprehensive about as the genius of the first film was the character of Borat doing outrageous things himself. I must say though, Bakalova’s character was such a fantastic addition that added new laughs, new opportunities, and surprisingly, a lot of heart into the film. With the main plot about trying to give Bakalova’s 14-year old character away to Pence or Giuliani, the film is able to show intellectual and emotional growth between the characters when they are alone not pranking anyone.
Overall, Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm brings more insane situations, a lot of laughs and cringe, and a surprising amount of heart. What Sacha Baron Cohen does in all of his Borat-style films is create situations that make almost everyone look bad, so if you aren’t a fan of his previous films, this isn’t for you. However, if you want a good time that will gear you up for post-Election Day insanity, I would highly recommend Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm.