Movies for Breakfast BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM Review

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Borat is back, and somehow even funnier than before.

Synopsis

Follow-up film to the 2006 comedy centering on the real-life adventures of a fictional Kazakh television journalist named Borat.

Review
After 16 years, Borat (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) is back, and this time he is with his daughter Tutar (played by Maria Bakalova). Following the last Borat movie, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm takes place 16 years after the first one ended. With the premiere of the last film he became a celebrity in the United States but ended up bringing great shame to the country of Kazakhstan. In order to make up for the previous movie he is sent back to the United States to make a peace offering to Vice President Mike Pence. Along the way Borat comes to learn of the current political situation in the United States as well as more about American culture, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the 2020 election.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm plays out much the same as Borat did, although this time more scripted than the original one felt. With the original movie there was a loose plot that seemed to string together the different people that Borat would meet and thus create the hijinks the movie was known for. It seemed that movie focused more on those scenes and only a very loose plot was added in where Borat was trying to get to California to string those meetings together. This time though the plot has more bearing on why Borat is around the people he is, and how he comes to be in these situations. While not as loose feeling as the first one, it does make the film feel more like a movie than a sequence of random events strung together. This helps with some of the jokes and presenting them in ways that are even more absurd than the first one. For example, in one string of events Borat needs to get a cake for the president of Kazakhstan, in the process his daughter wants her own cupcake with a figure of a baby on it. She end up swallowing the baby, and in order to get the figure of a baby out of her, Borat brings her to a women’s health clinic. This leads to Borat and Tutar getting to the interaction with the women’s health clinic doctor. There is actually a string of events that lead the characters to the places they end up, where they end up meeting and talking to the unsuspecting people within the movie. With it there is a feeling that more planning went into this film than the previous one, as the entire film is paced in this way. This pacing also helps with keeping a constant flow of humor as there is the humor from the scripted scenes as well as the unexpected humor that comes from the interactions with real people.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm features Borat as the main character, but Borat himself is also disguised throughout the film in various costumes. As such the film does feel like a cross between Borat and Sacha Baron Cohens recent series Who is America. This is probably one of the best changes made for the film, as it gives Borat a chance to continue acting as himself, while in disguise and trying to not be detected. It breaks up the Borat character a bit and makes it feel fresh every time Sacha is on screen playing a different character before going back to playing Borat. This was probably a needed change given the popularity of the Borat character. Every hidden camera scene feels distinct and shines in its own way. While it does not produce as many quotes as the original one did, I feel like there are plenty of scenes people will be watching on repeat. Having saw the film a couple of times already, I can say there are some moments that will not get old and will continue to bring a lot of laughter. Sacha Baron Cohen brings everything to the table in this movie, and Surprisingly is made even better with Maria Bakalova playing his daughter Tutar. While there are no real surprises from the performance given for the character of Borat, Tutar is the perfect surprise addition to the film that brings the next level of laughter to an already great comedy.

Being a new addition to a movie with a character such as Borat seems like a hard job to pull off, but Maria Bakalova knocks this one out of the park without any issue. Playing the daughter of Borat, she is everything you would expect of a woman from Kazakhstan. Bringing the kind of personality and humor you would expect to come with it as well. Most of the film she even manages to take the spotlight from Borat, and molds into her own character in the movie very well creating a distinct line between what you can expect from the two. She is by no means a copy of Borat’s character like one would expect, but someone who manages to take the absurdity of Borat and turn it up to eleven. This is a major feat and comes down to Maria as an actor, and her ability to improv on the same level as Sacha with the two staying in sync in some of the craziest of scenarios they are put in. Even when she is in the film on her own, she stands out as a great improvisational actress who can work even when Borat isn’t on screen. She manages to pull off both working on her own and in tandem with Sacha seamlessly throughout the entire movie. Given her performance in this movie she is an actress I will be keeping watch for in the future.


Closing Thoughts
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is the perfect sequel to Borat. Fourteen years since the last film and Sacha Baron Cohen manages to jump right back into the character of Borat, and even goes further than he did in the first film. Fans of the first Borat movie will have plenty to enjoy here, as well as people who enjoyed his more recent show Who is America. As a fan of both Sacha Baron Cohen productions I wholly enjoyed this new movie and found myself laughing throughout it. Even newcomer Maria Bakalova makes an amazing lead character, bringing just as many laughs in every scene she is a part of. This movie does have more of a story focus that connects all the interactions this duo becomes involved in, but I feel like it makes the movie as a whole flow better. People worried that Borat would not be able to bring a sequel that is worthy of the same praise the original got need not worry, as this is a movie I will watch now just as much as I watched Borat back then.


Trailer