When Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was released on Amazon, star Sacha Baron Cohen continued to hit familiar nerves deep in the heart of the MAGA South. While Cohen's taken point on the antics, Borat's daughter Tutar (Maria Bakalova) takes front and center when it comes to the heart. Audiences laugh with Cohen as a guilty pleasure as an ultra-conservative Kazakhstan journalist unapologetic about his misogyny and anti-Semitism.
What "Happened" to Borat since 2006 Film
The story provides an update on Borat Sagdiyev since the events of the 2006 film with the similar convoluted title Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Apparently, the film brought shame to the nation, and he served the better part of his time in a prison camp. He catches a break when the country wanted to curry favor with the current president of the United States, Donald Trump. The first film took place during the George W. Bush administration. As Borat goes back home, we meet his various sons and daughter found in her traditional cage.
Borat is tasked by his government to provide a gift to Trump. After a series of unfortunate accidents, the conditions change to involve Vice President Mike Pence. As ambitions become high, most of the trailers, along with the publicity surrounding former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, provide the cusp of what audiences believe to be the primary story. The real story that drives the film is the relationship between Borat and Tutar. The "targets" of their pranks provide the avant-garde awkward humor that audiences will appreciate for the most part. Some don't really land as well since some just comply, like the baker who Borat tells to write something anti-Semitic on a cake. The follow-up joke at the clinic with the pastor provides the expected punchline that was already delivered in the trailer. Ultimately, it's these "targets" that Cohen allows to shape the story like Tutar's babysitter who planted the seeds of feminism within her becomes an unwitting protagonist. The other major character that Cohen shines on is Judith Dim Evans, who "educates" Borat on the Holocaust and provides a warming influence sorely missing in a large part of our culture drowning in political polarization.
While the 2006 film was largely one note that's beaten until the end, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm provides a heartwarming story underneath that makes the sequel superior to the original. Credit goes to director Larry Charles for his part in molding the 2006 film, but director Jason Woliner knocks it out of the ballpark. While it's largely driven by Cohen himself, the writing team helping him out in Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern, and Nina Pedrad all deserve kudos for fleshing out Borat and Tutar the way they did. Bakalova added far more to the sequel than just a comedy partner, but one can argue she became the film's heart and soul. She adds that layer and nuance that Ken Divitian couldn't in the 2006 film. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.