Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Baron Cohen as Borat in a speedo in the style of a surgical mask, smiling and giving thumbs up. Text surrounding him says "WEAR MASK. / SAVE LIVE.".
Official release poster
Directed byJason Woliner
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Sacha Baron Cohen
  • Anthony Hines
  • Nina Pedrad
  • Dan Swimer
Based onBorat Sagdiyev
by Sacha Baron Cohen
Starring
Music byErran Baron Cohen[1]
CinematographyLuke Geissbühler
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed byAmazon Studios
Release date
  • October 23, 2020 (2020-10-23) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
Country
  • United States
LanguageEnglish

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan[a] (also known simply as Borat 2) is a 2020 American mockumentary comedy film written by and starring Sacha Baron Cohen as Kazakhstani reporter and television personality Borat Sagdiyev, who was introduced in F2F, and Da Ali G Show. The film is the sequel to 2006's Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

Although Baron Cohen had previously stated in 2007 he had retired the Borat character, he was spotted at several public events in late 2019 in the disguise. He was then seen filming several other segments amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020, leading to speculation of a second Borat film. The project was officially announced in September 2020, and Amazon Studios acquired the distribution rights.

The film was released on October 23, 2020, on Amazon Prime Video in the United States. It received praise from critics for Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova's performances, and the commentary on American culture.

Premise[edit]

Fourteen years after release of Borat, Borat Sagdiyev once again journeys to the United States from Kazakhstan in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 elections.[3]

Cast[edit]

  • Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat Margaret Sagdiyev, a Kazakhstani news reporter who has achieved international fame and notoriety after the events of the first film.
  • Maria Bakalova as Tutar Sagdiyev, Borat's teenage daughter, who he brings to America as a bride for Mike Pence, having misheard "bribe."[4] Bakalova was initially credited as Irina Nowak but early reports revealed Bakalova's involvement.[5][6]
  • Dani Popescu as Premier Nazarbayev, the leader of Kazakhstan and a fictionalized version of Nursultan Nazarbayev.[7][8]
  • Tom Hanks as himself.
  • Manuel Vieru as Dr. Yamak
  • Miroslav Tolj as Nursultan Tulyakbay
  • Alin Popa as HueyLewis / Jeffrey Epstein Sagdiyev, Borat's son
  • Ion Gheorghe as Bilak Sagdiyev, Borat's brother with mental retardation
  • Nicolae Gheorghe as Biram Sagdiyev, Borat's son
  • Marcela Codrea as a Kuczek villager
  • Luca Nelu as a Kuczek villager
  • Nicoleta Ciobanu as Babuska

Mike Pence and Rudy Giuliani appear as themselves without their knowledge. Holocaust survivor Judith Dim Evans appears with her permission. Sid Miller was originally in the film but his scenes were cut.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Rupert Murdoch announced in early February 2007 that Baron Cohen had signed on to do another Borat film with 20th Century Fox, distributor of the first film.[9] Baron Cohen later claimed that Borat was to be discontinued, as he was now too well known to avoid detection as he did in the film and on Da Ali G Show.[10] A spokesman for Fox later stated that it was too early to begin planning such a film, although they were open to the idea.[11] In 2014, he brought back Borat for the FXX series Ali G: Rezurection, a compilation of the sketches from Da Ali G Show with new footage.[12] He also briefly appeared as Borat in December 2015 on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! to promote the film Grimsby[13] and again in November 2018 to encourage Americans to vote in that year's midterm elections.[14] In the two years leading up to the release, the film's star became more concerned about being politically active, giving speeches and interviews in-person to combat racism; he insisted on releasing the film immediately before the election to provoke alarm among Americans about a slide into illiberal democracy.[1]

Filming[edit]

Pence smiling and waving
Mike Pence at the 2020 ACU CPAC, shortly before Baron Cohen interrupted his speech.

An early prank filmed in late 2019 involved a farcical interview with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller,[15] followed by a trip to an Arlington, Texas driving range.[16] In February 2020, Baron Cohen was spotted dressed up as Donald Trump, interrupting the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), although his true identity was not revealed at the time.[17][18] That same month, Baron Cohen traveled to Macon, Georgia to trick attendees of a fake cotillion.[19] In early July 2020, Baron Cohen arranged a fake interview with Rudy Giuliani, only to burst in during the conversation wearing a pink bikini; Giuliani called the police.[20] A few weeks later, he was spotted performing pranks at a gun rally in Olympia, Washington,[21] leading attendees to sing along with racist lyrics to an original song,[22] and interviewing members of the crowd.[23] The following month, he was spotted in Los Angeles dressed as Borat and filming, leading to speculation from the public that Baron Cohen's next project was a Borat sequel.[24] On two days of filming Baron Cohen was required to wear a bulletproof vest due to the possible threats of the scene.[25] In early September 2020, rumors began to circulate claiming that the film was completely shot, assembled, and screened for film industry executives;[26] the title was originally leaked as Borat 2: Great Success and then Borat: Gift of Pornographic Monkey to Vice Premiere Mikhael Pence to Make Benefit Recently Diminished Nation of Kazakhstan, where the latter was used as one of the title cards. The village sequences in Kazakhstan were shot in Romania but in the Albeşti village since residents of Glod were unhappy with their portrayal.

Release[edit]

In September 2020, Amazon Studios acquired distribution rights to the film and scheduled it for an October 23 release.[27][25] The first trailer was released on October 1, 2020, confirming that several of Baron Cohen's pranks were shot for this film.[28] Baron Cohen joined social media outlets Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter in-character as Borat to comment on American politics in the run-up to the election and promote the film release,[29] including congratulating Donald Trump for winning the first of the 2020 United States presidential debates before the event began.[30] The social media push also involved a Twitch stream playing video games with DrLupo[31] and meeting YouTube influencers.[32] He also made a return to Jimmy Kimmel Live! a few days before the film's release.[33]

Amazon Prime UK promoted the film by projecting an image of Borat in an extremely small mankini resembling a face mask on the side of several historic sites in Scotland.[34] In Australia's Bondi Beach, 40 Borat lookalikes descended onto the sands to do a yoga class in the "maskini" gear, accompanied by a large statue.[35] During the second presidential debate, Baron Cohen hosted a watch party to debut the film in-character, followed by an afterparty made up of dance music and questions from fans via a live chat.[36] A further stunt involved a large inflatable Borat floating in a barge along a Toronto waterfront[37] and in front of London's Palace of Westminster.[38] The Cerne Abbas Giant was also defaced with a mask and the slogan "WEAR MASK. SAVE LIVE."[39]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm was met with generally favorable reviews from critics at review aggregator Metacritic, with a weighted average score of 67 out of 100, based on 42 reviews.[40] The review consensus at Rotten Tomatoes for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm had 82% of critics recommending the film, based on 135 reviews and an average rating of 7.19 out of 10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Fourteen years after his last theatrical outing, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm proves Sacha Baron Cohen's comedic creation remains a sharp tool for exposing the most misguided—or outright repugnant—corners of American culture."[41] Most publications said the film received generally positive reviews,[42][43][44][45] though the BBC[46] and Reuters[47] summed up the critical consensus as "mixed".

Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave the film an A– and wrote: "Fourteen years after his last romp, Borat isn't exactly woke, but his time has come: This searing brand of humor has never felt more essential. Blending activism with entertainment, Baron Cohen's best movie to date gives us new reasons to be afraid of the world, but also permission to laugh at it."[48] Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three out of four stars and wrote: "Fourteen years after Kazakhstan journalist Borat came to America to make a documentary about our great nation, he's back in the USA—older, dumber, far more famous and arguably even more politically incorrect and offensively funny than he was in 2006."[49]

In The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw gave the film three out of five stars, saying "there are still some real laughs and pointed political moments" but that it "overstays its welcome".[4] Jesse Hassenger of The A. V. Club gave the film a B– and called it "frequently funny and occasionally pointed" but "also another instance where doing things as they've always been done no longer feels like quite enough".[50] Similarly, Devika Girish of The New York Times notes how the sequel is not as shocking or insightful as the first film, summing up, "[the] elaborate ruses of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm left me neither entertained nor enraged, but simply resigned".[51] For The Daily Telegraph, Robbie Collin awarded the film two of five stars, calling the film "despairingly threadbare" and "a string of half-formed, recycled and disjointed pranks you suspect wouldn't have survived the quality-control process on the original, effortfully connected post hoc by largely uninspired scripted scenes."[52]

Controversy[edit]

The film's creators were sued for fraud after including an interview with Holocaust survivor Judith Dim Evans. Evans died before the film's release, but her heirs brought the lawsuit alleging that she did not consent to the commercial use of her likeness in the film.[53][2] Baron Cohen claimed that he broke character to reveal to Evans that the piece was a bit to reduce her concern about the anti-Semitic comments that Borat makes.[54]

Rudy Giuliani was criticized for his actions in a scene in which he appears to undo his trousers in a hotel bedroom in front of actress Maria Bakalova while believing her to be 15 years old.[4][55] Giuliani denied the allegations and responded he was trying to tuck in his shirt, claiming that the allegations were a smear for Giuliani's Hunter Biden email controversy, despite the scene having been filmed months before the controversy occurred.[56] Controversy over what happened in the scene led Baron Cohen to record a brief clip as Borat regarding Giuliani.[57]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Initially stylized onscreen as Borat Gift of Sexy Monkey to Vice Premier Mikhael Pence for Make Benefit Recently Diminished Nation of Kazakhstan, and later as Borat Gift of Daughter to Mikhael Pence for Make Benefit Diminished Nation of Kazakhstan and finally as Borat Delivery of Sexy Gift to Rudy Giuliani In Last-Ditch Attempt to Save Boorat From Execution And Make Benefit Diminished Nation of Kazakhstan as the titular character's plans change.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dowd, Maureen (October 17, 2020). "Sacha Baron Cohen: This Time He's Serious". The New York Times. Retrieved October 17, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Lewis, Isobel (October 15, 2020). "Borat Creators Sued by Estate of Late Holocaust Survivor Who Claimed She Thought Film Was Real Documentary". The Independent. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  3. ^ Sharf, Zack (October 1, 2020). "Borat 2 Trailer: Sacha Baron Cohen Returns to Annihilate Donald Trump's America". IndieWire. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Bradshaw, Peter (October 21, 2020). "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Review – Cinema's Top Troll Goes Baiting in Trump's US". The Guardian. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  5. ^ Adams, Sam (October 1, 2020). "Who Is 'Irina Nowak', Borat's Co-Star in the Trailer for His New Sequel". Slate. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  6. ^ Bilstein, Jon (October 20, 2020). "Borat Tries to Collect Jimmy Kimmel's Pants, 'Liquid Release' for Covid-19 Test". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  7. ^ DeFore, John (October 21, 2020). "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Film Review". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  8. ^ Ebiri, Bilge (October 21, 2020). "We Should Be Glad Borat Still Exists". Vulture. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  9. ^ Li, Kenneth (February 9, 2007). "Sacha Baron Cohen signs for Borat 2". Reuters. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  10. ^ "Baron Cohen retires Borat, Ali G". Variety. Associated Press. December 21, 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  11. ^ "Borat Sequel Put on Hold". The Age. Reuters. February 9, 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  12. ^ Morgan, David S. (December 22, 2007). "Borat He Dead, I Kill Him, Gone". CBS News. Archived from the original on December 29, 2007. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  13. ^ Fitz-Gerald, Sean (December 10, 2015). "Borat Dropped by Jimmy Kimmel Live to Bash Donald Trump, Anti-Promote Sacha Baron Cohen's Latest Movie". Vulture. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  14. ^ Nyren, Erin (November 6, 2018). "Borat Gets Out the Vote for 'Premier' Trump on Jimmy Kimmel Live!". Variety. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  15. ^ Blackman, Jeremy (October 1, 2020). "Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller Pranked by Borat Star Sasha Baron Cohen". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  16. ^ Garcia, Brendan (October 22, 2020). "This Arlington Driving Range Is Featured in the New Borat Movie". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  17. ^ Stoddart, Michelle (February 27, 2020). "Trump Impersonator Interrupts Vice President Mike Pence's CPAC Speech". ABC News. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  18. ^ Wilstein, Matt (October 1, 2020). "Sacha Baron Cohen Pranks Mike Pence as Trump in Borat 2 Trailer". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  19. ^ Ho, Rodney (October 5, 2020). "Macon Residents Pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen for His Borat 2 Film". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  20. ^ Smith, Emily; Siegler, Mara (July 8, 2020). "Rudy Giuliani Called the NYPD on Sacha Baron Cohen over Prank Interview". Page Six. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  21. ^ Boone, Rolf (July 27, 2020). "Did Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen Crash Rally in Downtown Olympia?". The Olympian. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  22. ^ Moreau, Jordan (July 28, 2020). "Sacha Baron Cohen Pranks Conservative Rally into Singing Racist Lyrics". Variety. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  23. ^ Hoffman, Jordan (June 28, 2020). "Sacha Baron Cohen Trolls Far-Right Rally with Racist Sing-Along". Variety. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  24. ^ White, Adam (August 19, 2020). "Sacha Baron Cohen Spotted Reprising Borat Role in Possible Sequel to 2006 film". The Independent. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  25. ^ a b Fleming, Jr, Mike (September 29, 2020). "Borat Sequel Acquired by Amazon Studios; Sacha Baron Cohen Film Will Bow on Prime Video Right Before Election Day". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  26. ^ Sneider, Jeff (September 8, 2020). "Exclusive: Borat 2 Has Already Been Shot and Screened by Sacha Baron Cohen". Collider. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  27. ^ Sneider, Jeff (September 29, 2020). "Borat 2 to Premiere on Amazon Prime Video in October, Timed to Election Day". Collider. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  28. ^ Earl, William (October 1, 2020). "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Trailer: Sacha Baron Cohen Takes on Coronavirus and Pence". Variety. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  29. ^ Atad, Corey (October 13, 2020). "Borat Becomes a Social Media Star and Immediately Pokes Fun at Trump". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  30. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike (September 29, 2020). "Borat Mischief? Republic Of Kazakhstan Tweet Hails Donald Trump Debate Victory—45 Minutes Before It Starts". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  31. ^ Peters, Jay (October 20, 2020). "Borat Will Do a Very Nice Stream on Twitch with DrLupo". The Verge. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  32. ^ Paul, Andrew (October 22, 2020). "Borat Meets Some Gen Z YouTube Influencers, Is Very Borat About It". The A. V. Club. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  33. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (October 19, 2020). "Borat Puts Jimmy Kimmel Through His Own Chaotic COVID-19 Safety Protocols". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  34. ^ Traynor, Sian (October 22, 2020). "Borat Makes Hilarious Surprise Appearance on Edinburgh Castle and Arthur's Seat". Edinburgh Live. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  35. ^ "Borat 2: Forty Lookalikes in Tiny 'Maskini' Costumes Do Yoga Stretches on Bondi Beach in Hilarious Stunt for New Film". Perth Now. October 22, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  36. ^ Carras, Christie (October 22, 2020). "Amid Giuliani Controversy, Borat Is Hosting a Live Watch Party. What Could Go Wrong?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  37. ^ Casaletto, Lucas (October 22, 2020). "Borat Barge Seen Floating in Toronto Gets Attention". CityNews. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  38. ^ Ravindran, Manori (October 22, 2020). "Borat Sails Past U.K. Houses of Parliament in Mankini, But Londoners Remain Unimpressed". Variety. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  39. ^ Cutler, Alex (October 23, 2020). "Cerne Abbas Giant Defaced to Promote New Borat Movie". Dorset Echo. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  40. ^ "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  41. ^ "Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  42. ^ Ryu, Jenna (October 21, 2020). "Baron Cohen's sequel earns critical praise". USA Today. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  43. ^ Rawat, Kshitij (October 22, 2020). "Borat 2 Review Roundup: Here's What Critics Are Saying About the Sacha Baron Cohen-Starrer". Indian Express. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  44. ^ Wolinksy, David (October 21, 2020). "Borat 2 Review Roundup: Very Nice Picture". Gamespot. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  45. ^ Welk, Brian (October 21, 2020). "Critics Say Borat 2 Falls Short of Original But Are Glad Character Is Back". TheWrap. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  46. ^ "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Mixed Reviews for Sacha Baron Cohen Sequel". BBC News. October 22, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  47. ^ Serjeant, Jill (October 21, 2020). "Borat Bounces Back Just Ahead of U.S. Elections". Reuters. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  48. ^ Kohn, Eric (October 21, 2020). "Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm Review: Sacha Baron Cohen's Brilliant, Vulgar Plea for a Better World". IndieWire. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  49. ^ Roeper, Richard (October 21, 2020). "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Fictional Foreigner No Wiser in USA Return, Daughter in Tow". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  50. ^ Hassenger, Jesse (October 21, 2020). "Borat Statue and Flash Mob Take Over Sydney's Bondi Beach Ahead of New Movie". The A. V. Club. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  51. ^ Girish, Devika (October 21, 2020). "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Review: More Cultural Learnings". The New York Times. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  52. ^ Collin, Robbie (October 21, 2020). "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Review: Trump Rallies, Ugly Songs and Some Truly Rotten Jokes". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  53. ^ Ho, Rodney (October 13, 2020). "Estate of Late Holocaust Survivor Sues Creators of Borat Over Appearance in Upcoming Sequel". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  54. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike (October 15, 2020). "How Sacha Baron Cohen's Plan to Use Borat Sequel to Combat Facebook & Twitter Holocaust Denier Policies Evolved with Abrupt About Face & Surprise Lawsuit". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  55. ^ Tsioulcas, Anastasia (October 22, 2020). "Borat Sequel Grabs a Political News Cycle—At Least Momentarily". NPR. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  56. ^ Wilstein, Matt (October 21, 2020). "Rudy Giuliani Claims Borat 'Hit Job' Is Retaliation for Hunter Biden Attack". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  57. ^ Dessem, Matthew (October 22, 2020). "A Shot-by-Shot Analysis of the New Borat's Giuliani Scene". Slate. Retrieved October 22, 2020.

External links[edit]