BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM – Review by Susan Granger

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It’s been 14 years since pseudo-Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) visited the United States but he’s back – this time on a mission to deliver Johnny the Monkey, Kazakhstan’s minister of culture/#1 porn star, to bribe Vice President Mike Pence to admit his country’s leader to “the strongman club.”

When that doesn’t work out as a gift option, moronic Borat decides to deliver his 15 year-old daughter, Tutar (Maria Bakalova), to Pence instead. Dressed as a Klansman, he arranges to make the presentation at the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) during Pence’s speech, but he’s ejected by the Secret Service.

After that fiasco, Borat arranges for Tutar to interview former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in a Manhattan hotel room. One thing leads to another and they wind up in the bedroom, where President Trump’s personal lawyer lies on the bed with his hand down his pants, seemingly tucking in his shirt.

At that point, Borat storms in, yelling: “She’s 15!”

What’s amazing is that neither Pence nor Giuliani realized they were being ‘set up’ by Sasha Baron Cohen – until after the ‘sting’ was filmed. Nor do Cohen’s other interviewees, as he travels around the country, posing as a bigotry-spewing buffoon.

Written by Sasha Baron Cohen with collaborators Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Freedman, and Lee Kern, it’s directed by Jason Woliner who relishes people’s gullibility, particularly QAnon followers who spew bloodthirsty beliefs about Satan-worshipping.

Most memorable is how this raucous, improvisational comedy showcases 24 year-old Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, who views the film as the story of how a poor, downtrodden girl can and should grow up. Relishing her liberation, she plays a strong, complicated character, working undercover with real people who had to believe her veracity in order for the pranks to work.

Streaming on Amazon Prime, on the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is a silly, satirical, subversive 6, guaranteed to offend almost everyone.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.