Borat and the problem of high expectations

November 14, 2006

I really wanted to love Borat. I adored the previews and was impressed by the interviews and all the reviews I had read. The hype was so high; I walked into the movie expecting to see the funniest movie ever made.

Unfortunately, while Borat is entertaining and gets good laughs, it’s not the funniest movie ever made. The first half of the movie is much more entertaining than the second half. Shockingly for an 82 minute movie, the movie started to feel a bit long – not to mention that some of the parts felt staged (e.g.; the scene with Pamela Anderson). I suppose the Borat-kind of skit is more effective in 5 minute increments than in an entire 82 minute movie.

For Borat’s defense though the movie has a logical and coherent storyline – it’s not just skits stitched one after the other. Moreover Sacha Cohen is a genius at getting people to expose their prejudices on air – I just wished he had focused more on that and a bit less on trying to gross us out or making us cringe for its own sake. Go see the movie – it’s very different from most movies you will see and is entertaining – but don’t expect to see the funniest movie you have ever seen.

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