Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
|Borat Subsequent Moviefilm|
Official release poster
|Directed by||Jason Woliner|
|Based on||Borat Sagdiyev|
by Sacha Baron Cohen
|Music by||Erran Baron Cohen|
|Distributed by||Amazon Studios|
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.
- 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." Bakalova was initially credited as Irina Nowak but early reports revealed Bakalova's involvement.
- Dani Popescu as Premier Nazarbayev, the leader of Kazakhstan and a fictionalized version of Nursultan Nazarbayev.
- 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.
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. 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. A spokesman for Fox later stated that it was too early to begin planning such a film, although they were open to the idea. 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. He also briefly appeared as Borat in December 2015 on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! to promote the film Grimsby and again in November 2018 to encourage Americans to vote in that year's midterm elections. 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.
An early prank filmed in late 2019 involved a farcical interview with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, followed by a trip to an Arlington, Texas driving range. 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. That same month, Baron Cohen traveled to Macon, Georgia to trick attendees of a fake cotillion. 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. A few weeks later, he was spotted performing pranks at a gun rally in Olympia, Washington, leading attendees to sing along with racist lyrics to an original song, and interviewing members of the crowd. 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. On two days of filming Baron Cohen was required to wear a bulletproof vest due to the possible threats of the scene. In early September 2020, rumors began to circulate claiming that the film was completely shot, assembled, and screened for film industry executives; 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.
In September 2020, Amazon Studios acquired distribution rights to the film and scheduled it for an October 23 release. The first trailer was released on October 1, 2020, confirming that several of Baron Cohen's pranks were shot for this film. 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, including congratulating Donald Trump for winning the first of the 2020 United States presidential debates before the event began. The social media push also involved a Twitch stream playing video games with DrLupo and meeting YouTube influencers. He also made a return to Jimmy Kimmel Live! a few days before the film's release.
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. 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. 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. A further stunt involved a large inflatable Borat floating in a barge along a Toronto waterfront and in front of London's Palace of Westminster. The Cerne Abbas Giant was also defaced with a mask and the slogan "WEAR MASK. SAVE LIVE."
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. 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." Most publications said the film received generally positive reviews, though the BBC and Reuters 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." 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."
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". 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". 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". 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."
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. 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.
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. 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. Controversy over what happened in the scene led Baron Cohen to record a brief clip as Borat regarding Giuliani.
- 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.
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- Official website (in Kazakh)
- Home of the official watch party and afterparty with DJ Shkoyach
- Borat Subsequent Moviefilm on IMDb
- "Will Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat Sequel Arrive Before the Election?" from Vanity Fair
- "Sacha Baron Cohen: We Must Save Democracy from Conspiracies", an editorial in Time that Baron Cohen wrote, explaining the urgency of standing up against authoritarianism and populist conspiracy fear-mongering
- "On the Porch: Hay House Mayhem" in the Monroe County Reporter
- "First Borat 'Victim' Alan Smith, UPS Store Owner in Suburban Atlanta, Thought He Was Part of Training Film for Russians" from Showbiz 411
- "Borat v Trump: Can Entertainment Really Affect an Election?" from The Guardian
- Footage of a police officer pulling over Borat from his body cam