Friday, November 03, 2006


And I'm trying to figure out why it is so funny. Which it is. I have probably never laughed that hard and that much at a movie. Now I'm trying to figure out why.

First off, the fundamental structure of the movie is Borat as fictional character being treated as if he is a nonactor by other nonactors. In many scenes in the movie, the humor derives from how these nonactors try to accomodate the offensive and inappropriate comments made by Borat because they presume him to be innocent. Once they figure out he isn't, the scene ends, the feminists leave, the police come, etc.

Borat is a sort of humor bomb waiting to go off. It's the traditional mode of suspense. We know he is an obnoxious, fictional character. The nonactors don't, and don't understand that his social indiscretions will become greater and greater until they can no longer pass them off as innocent.

The best example of this in the movie is the scene that cross cuts between Borat receiving etiquette training and trying to put this to work at a society meal somewhere in the south.

He insults the pastors wife. He repeatedly refers to one of the guests as "retarded" instead of "retired." He carries a bag of his own feces to the table and asks the host where to place it, pretending he doesn't know how to use a toilet. When his guest arrives, a black prostitute, that's the end of things.

There's also a major grotesque component to this humor and I will submit that the male on male, fat, hairy 69 is the most grotesque image put to film. It was if my skull opened up--perhaps exploded--as I watched something more horrific than I had ever before witnessed.

Surely much ink will be spilled on this film. See it.