Tuesday, August 05, 2008

BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN

For those who might be unaware, Borat is a character played by Sacha Baron Cohen. The movie was meant to be comedic - if you didn't get that, I am sorry. Maybe you do not belong to the target audience? Or possibly you belong in an Arab country; excepting Lebanon, it was banned everwhere in the Arab world.


BORAT

The man is a comic genius and a loose cannon. Especially worth noting were the scenes expressing oddness or disruption of logic - the fierce bear scaring the kids running alongside the ice-cream truck, the wistful statement that they should've stayed in New York, because at least there are no Jews there.

Also hugely enjoyable is the utter vulgarity of the nude wrestling match in the convention hotel, and the consternation of the pretentious Southern dinner party guests at Borat's behaviour - especially when the hooker arrives.

Imagine Jack Kerouac's 'On The Road' combined with William Burroughs distorted reality.


The movie itself doesn't say much about America and Americans. Stereotypes, yes, but extreme examples. It should be noted that Sasha Cohen always deals with such extremes, and is far less vicious in jabbing the soft-underbelly of his subjects than many comedians, who leave little whole or unbleeding of their victims.


The movie can also be seen as a retelling of a mediaeval quest epic. Our hero leaves his poor native village on a long journey into the unknown, accompanied by a faithful troll. Together they have many adventures in strange lands, acquire an animal companion, battle dangers. They split up, our hero pursues the princess, and when all is lost, he and his faithful troll companion meet up again. He finally realizes what he's really been looking for, and goes back to the hinterland settlement to woo the ugly peasant girl with a heart of gold, with whom he returns in triumph to his native village.

The only loose end is the question everyone asks: how do you cook a bear?


Like many movies, it is also an exorcism. It shows that which is feared in a way that denatures it, and by doing so, it renders the monster harmless, the dark unthreatening. The ending which ties up loose ends and reinterprets the plot motiefs functions as a settling of uncertainties, and returns the daemons loosened in the retelling to a stable and completely circumscribed state of stasis.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Borat rhymes with whombat. I thought Spiros should know that.


Lev

Anonymous said...

Borat is NOT a Parsi. Just thought you should know.


---Grant Patel

Anonymous said...

There are no Parsis in Kazakhstan. It is bally sad.


---Grant Patel

BBJ said...

In the middle of my World History class, one of my students suddenly asks slyly, "Ms. Bluejeans, why don't we learn about Kazhakstan?"

I answer, "Giora, all I know about Kazhakstan is that it is the best nation in the world, and all other countries are ruled by little girls."

The kid looks flabbergasted. Teachers are not supposed to have watched such movies.

Anonymous said...

Kazhakstan has world's second biggest goat.

Anonymous said...

Sab Kazakhstan main bakri chot hai. Which explains the goat.

Do they all share the goat?


---Grant Patel

Anonymous said...

My sister, number 4 prostitute in Kazakhstan. Nice!

Anonymous said...

Your sister is outranked by a goat?


---Grant Patel

Anonymous said...

This post was not nearly disgusting enough. You could have gone so much further with the material. And you should.


Lev

Anonymous said...

Even with the goat you find it clean? Encroyable!

Listen, mister, there is nothing clean about stumping a goat, let me tell you! The entire city of Delhi knows this, from keen personal experience, about which they bally WON'T shut up, and yet they still pursue goats with an avidity and a zest which boggles the mind, staggers the senses, and buggers the imagination! And the goat. The last bit, that is. Bally perverts. And crypto Pakis. Tis a fine tradition. In Delhi.


---Grant Patel

Anonymous said...

And they don't even have boots! Have you ever tried sticking goat trots in your chapplis? Is buggery impossible.

Meeeh! Meeeh! Mee-ee-eeeh!


---Grant Patel

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