I’m going through a whole plethora of emotions after watching Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan or more casually known as Borat 2. Much like it’s predecessor, it’s a mockumentary that pokes fun at our political system and the ridiculous people who run it/follow it blindly. Sacha Baron Cohen is both a genius and an absolute madman in his quest for a laugh and making people feel awkward, both of which he predominately succeeds in. For better and for worse, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm doesn’t hold anything back.
The subtitle of the film basically explains the entire plot of the film as Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) has been locked away as an outcast after embarrassing Kazakhstan with the first film in 2006. In an effort to redeem himself and his country, he is given the opportunity to travel back to America to offer up his daughter to Vice President Mike Pence as a bribe. Before he can do so, he travels around the country doing everything he can to make her more presentable.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is as ridiculous as the plot makes it out to be, and I enjoyed nearly every minute of it. It doesn’t just poke fun at how outrageous people are; it spears it directly through the heart. The most interesting thing about the film is how Cohen is able to capture people on camera sharing their true feelings and thoughts. I still can’t believe that the majority of people he encounters are real and not just hired actors who go by a script. The interactions are just too absurd and too good.
And yet it’s true that Cohen did make his way into a Conservative Political Action Conference dressed as Donald Trump carrying his “daughter” for an offer to Mike Pence. At the time, nobody knew it was him or that the stunt was for a film. At another point he also convinces an entire crowd to sing along with him to an extremely racist song. There’s no limit to how far Cohen will go, and while it’s funny, it’s also terrifying knowing that there are people out there who truly believe his character. For them, it’s not some joke. That’s the horrifying reality of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.
There are a couple of cringe-worthy moments, depending on how much of Cohen’s crude humor you’re willing to put up with. If you’ve seen the first film or any of his other satirical characters, then you already know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s much of the same only this time it feels more personal and poignant than ever, mainly because we’re still living through the pandemic. During the conference with Mike Pence, we hear him say how cases are in the teens and that things are looking good. That was back in February. Eight months later and here we are over 8.5 million cases and 225K deaths. There’s nothing funny about that. Humor aside, the film also portrays a dismal portrait of our society and the terrifying reality of it.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm once again hits the nail on the head, offering up sharp and witty satire from Sacha Baron Cohen who does what he does best. Behind all the laughs is a sad truth that may be hard to swallow for some; a burning self portrait of how absurd and hateful our society has become.