November 04, 2006
Review - Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Went to the theatre with Marek to go see this movie. I forgot that on opening nights for films it's best to arrive 5 hours in advance. We got to the Paramount theatre in downtown Toronto around quarter to eight, hoping to catch the 8:00 show, but the ticket area was packed and they only had tickets for the 11:45 show.
So we got our tickets and then hung out at the nearby Chapters where I read up on various topics like a Contrary to Popular Belief book, the latest WIRED magazine (to which I have a subscription but has yet to arrive), a crash course on MySQL and the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records. I also checked out the music store inside Chapters so I could familiarize myself with the music all the kids are listening to these days, such as My Chemical Romance (BALLS), Alexisonfire (NADS) and Clay Aiken (what happened to you Clay? You sound like a girl now).
Anywho, it was 45 minutes until show time and we decided to head back early just in case there was a line up. Turns out everyone else showed up before us, so we waited at the end of a large maze of people for half an hour until we were ushered through like cattle.
The movie was great. There are a lot of great surprises and very hilarious moments. Much of the film ridicules American culture just by allowing it ridicule itself. For instance, most of the upper class, white, protestant people in the film, while attempting to show Borat the great American way, were ultimately hostile towards him when the crazy got going, showing no sense of humour whatsoever. On the other hand, the people of minority (prostitutes, street kids, weather man... yes meteorologists are very much discriminated against) were hip to the whole scene. This may be an over simplification, as it's hard to discern how much of the film is actually staged or not.
I won't ruin the movie for anyone by describing everything that happens, but I will say that I've never heard a whole room of people laugh so much before, much of it due to some very disturbing nudity.
at 2:26 AM