Title – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)
Director – Jason Woliner (feature debut)
Cast – Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova
Plot – Kazakhstan based journalist Borat (Cohen) returns to the United States with his teenage daughter Tutar (Bakalova) tagging along as he looks to give a powerful American with a gift of appreciation.
“My daddy is the smartest person in the whole flat world!”
Review by Eddie on 02/11/2020
2020 hasn’t given us many surprises of the treat variety but one of the years nicest additions was the shock announcement that a new Borat film was on its way for our viewing needs and that it would be coming straight into our lounge-rooms for added Covid-related ease.
The original 2006 outing of everyone’s favorite Kazakhstan based journalist was a world-wide box office and critical smash and remains to this day some of the best work of its star Sacha Baron Cohen and its nice to know that while not as surprising or engaging this time around, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (just one of the films many titles) is still at times just as offensive, funny, insightful and even oddly moving this time around.
Understandably suffering from the fact these 14 years on from the first film have allowed many unsuspecting citizens to gain knowledge of who Borat is and who Cohen is in turn, Moviefilm doesn’t have the same gold found in random encounters Borat has on his journey back to the USA to give a gift to a powerful politician with his daughter Tutar (played by game newcomer Maria Bakalova) in toe and the film does feel more staged and scripted than its more on the fly predecessor.
It’s not to say the film doesn’t have some great moments that feel like they could never have been planned better (Borat’s friendship with some Democrat hating citizens or appearance at a Mike Pence talk some such moments) but you can’t escape the feeling that Moviefilm doesn’t have the same natural charm as the 2006 original despite the engaging and committed central duo working wonders in their roles.
Having lived as the character for various parts of his career, Cohen is an old-hat at such a Borat flavored outing and shines no matter the mask he dons or disguise he wears and much like Azamat Bagatov before her Tutar is a great new addition to the Borat cinematic world and Maria Bakalova gets some seriously funny moments to work her magic and even deliver a great message along the way as Tutar discovers that women can in fact drive cars and sleep outside of cages.
Watching two such engaging performances ensures Movefilm is entertaining throughout, it doesn’t help the films cause however of failing to live up to the legacy of the first Borat film and a sense that Cohen sometimes focuses on easy targets and even at times fails to bring out much comedic gold from his subjects despite his best efforts, ensures that this is a funny and watchable addition to the Borat cannon but not an overly memorable one.
Final Say –
In a year of disappointments its nice to know that Borat and his journalistic integrity is still intact and while Moviefilm isn’t up too par with the beloved original, there’s still enough laughs and insights to make this topical film worthwhile.
3 cupcakes out of 5