If “Jackass” were comprised of ivy league warriors of peace, you’d achieve the universe of Sacha Baron Cohen’s characters. Borat’s return reigns supreme with his “Subsequent Moviefilm” to my favorite comedy of all time, this time with a dire message of progression. Almost exclusively featuring itself in the most rural areas imaginable, this secret sequel is a final Hail Mary pass at democracy by using the greatest weapon against the right, humor. Much like “The Lincoln Project,” Mr. Cohen knows how to pick his targets with expert precision where the need for civil discourse between sides has been shattered under the lethal stupidity of “McDonald Trump.”
The lovability in Borat rests in is his naïveté. Unlike Bruno, Borat is not nefarious in his actions. He’s just an innocent guy from a fictionalized backward version of a country who doesn’t know any better. To capitalize on this without giving away anything that hasn’t already been featured in the trailers, Borat seeks refuge with a stranger amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The conservatives leanings of these strangers are the very definition of a Trump supporter. But there was an extraordinary aspect in their hospitality. Despite their backward beliefs, these men were probably more welcoming than even I would have been towards a newcomer. It reminds me that some people, despite their differences, aren’t evil at their core; they live in a bubble cut off from the rest of the world.
At the end of each film, Borat learns a little more to break him free of that bubble but never entirely; otherwise, the comedy from that character would be gone. Attributing to Borat’s simplicity is his daughter Tutar (played marvelously by Maria Bakalova). My favorite moments in the film came from Bakalova, who is fearless in the stunts she pulls like Cohen. I would go as far as to say the character of Tutar is good enough to have her own spin-off film. Like many comedy sequels, movie number two is about our main character learning to become a parent. With this comes moments of complete absurdity that are gloriously stomach-turning where Bakalova may have topped the all-mighty Sacha Baron Cohen in gutsiness.
Filming a fictional documentary amidst a global pandemic is one thing. Shooting it in the middle of rural America with no masks or social distancing is the craft of a foolishly brave comic that wants desperately for America to listen to a plea for sanity. Mr. Cohen hugs, kisses, prances around half-naked, attends gun rallies, and does every conceivably dangerous thing during a pandemic. Somehow miraculously, Mr. Cohen survives every situation he throws himself into.
Creating a sequel to a fourteen-year-old classic is no small feat. In traditional Sacha Barron Cohen style, he slides it under the radar of everyone in what is not only perhaps an equally hilarious follow-up to the original but also one with a bit more heart. The relationship between Borat and Tutar is a testament to the individuality of a person. Tutar moves beyond her father’s endeavors at a moment’s notice, becoming a charming character we see transform into an allegory for Hillary Clinton’s defeat. A euphemism for how we can let go of our hatred, embracing a world that moves forward instead of regressing to what it once was.
By now, I may be preaching to my libtard choir, yet that’s always been the point of Mr. Cohen’s work. He publicly displays stupidity so we can see the unveiled evils of this world. Borat’s entire concept is that he is essentially a good man who needs to learn how the world works outside of his narrow-minded dogmatic viewpoint. In what may be an uncharacteristically direct message to the audience, the film urges them via title card to “vote, or be execute.” The brilliance of SBC’s comedies is that he thrives for a better world. He’s the comedic Michael Moore that treats his crew fairly and doesn’t blatantly lie about some of his falsified information. He’s the dark knight of the comedy world. The hero we need with great success!