Borat's popularity is easy to understand. So is the eternal appeal of the nasty school prank
I’d heard lots of good things about Borat. Even in Vietnam, I was still able to sense the cult of Borat that followed the release of the movie last year.
So seeing the movie was one of the great cinematic let downs of my life. Yes I enjoyed some very big laughs. I expected more though. Especially since the movie has now won a Golden Globe award conferring a totally misplaced artistic or other credibility.
Borat was a mostly tasteless effort that seemed no more clever than a well funded art school movie from a group of students with serious serious nerve.
The worst part about Borat however is its cruelty. Yes, the anti-hero Borat is cruelly exploitative across the board. Borat is a gratuitous abuse of the power of the camera, the filmmaker’s knowledge of what he is doing and the generosity and good spirit of most of the victims. It is a well funded ruthless school prank for mass consumption.
So what does it tell us about the US? Precious little – except that most people will go to exceptional lengths to extend hospitality to a stranger and continue to give him the benefit of the doubt until the extended hand has been comprehensively mangled.
Yes, and I’ll be a sensitive sod and say that it was unnecessary to take Kazakhstan down with the story.
Borat may be a low order abuse of power in the bad bad world we live in but I'm glad I wasn't one of his victims.