Michael ManeliNews Corp Australia Network
Even the remarkably clever Sacha Baron Cohen could not have predicted that the best “October surprise” of the US campaign this year would come from his clumsy, dumb Kazakh journalist Borat Sagidiyev.
In 2006, no one was safe from the ultimate hoax – from small-town residents to political leaders like Bernie Sanders and Dick Cheney, all of whom fell victim to the antics of the comic.
Fast forward to 2020, and Borat, the film’s time-honored style of ambush comedy, has once again stunned America and the world with its disrespect, claiming to have even more famous scalps for its sequel (titled, Borat Follow-up film: Amazing bribe handed over to the American regime to support the once glorious nation of Kazakhstan).
It is no coincidence that Borat’s best moment in his second film concerns President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Guiliani, who was forced to defend a “gotcha” moment in which he was caught in a hotel engraving staged by the film has been.
“This time it became clear to me that the exposed lower abdomen, its open opinions, which we put on the screen in 2006, is now represented by the President of America.”
Of course, Borat himself has often been accused of racism, sexism, and misogyny, attributes often associated with this other polarizing figure, as Cohen explains.
“Borat is a slightly more extreme version of Trump. They are both misogynist, they are both racist, they both support anti-Semites and neither can care less about democracy. ”
In this sequel we rediscover Borat as a celebrity in his native Kazakhstan and as a father of several children.
One son changed his name to Jeffrey Epstein after the late-embarrassed financier took his own life behind bars while awaiting trial for sex trafficking last year.
His daughter, who is often referred to as Sandra Jessica Parker Sagidiyev (Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova), travels with her father to the USA as a special “sexy” gift to Vice President Mike Pence from the Kazakh government.
In the very noisy scene, Borat’s 24-year-old daughter pretends to interview the former New York mayor in his hotel suite.
After the interview is over, the reporter and test subject move into the bedroom, where Guiliani lies on the bed with her hand in his pants.
Unsurprisingly, Guiliani denied any wrongdoing and called the setup a “hit job”.
In response to Guiliani’s claims that his behavior was not inappropriate, Cohen just grinned slightly and said, “I think this is a fascinating window into what the Trump regime believes is appropriate behavior towards women.”
Borat seized the moment of its marketing and used his Twitter account to “defend” Guiliani – and to publish the news shortly before the last presidential debate between Trump and Joe Biden.
“What was an innocent sexy time encounter with a consenting man and my 15-year-old daughter was turned into something gross by fake news media.”
He added, “I warn you, everyone else is trying this and Rudolph will not hesitate to reach into his legal pleadings and whip his subpoenas.”
The actor admits that he himself was surprised at how easily the skits came off.
“During some scenes my heart started beating. In fact, on one of the earliest days of shooting the Richmond Gun Rally (in the state capital of Virginia), there was a threat exposed by a white supremacist group to mass shoot the rally. The FBI had foiled it, but I found myself in a situation where I would wear a t-shirt that the National Rifle Association did not fully endorse, and as a result, it was the first time in my career that I had a T- Shirt put on bulletproof vest I wore for two of the scenes.
“I’ve never done that before,” he says, shaking his head. “But there were so many semiautomatic machines out there, even if someone wasn’t actively trying to injure me, you could accidentally get hurt by a stray ball.”
Professionally, Cohen’s risk taking has paid off quickly lately, earning praise last year for his serious portrayal of Israel’s top Mossad spy Eli Cohen on Netflix series The Spy.
Last month he received stellar reviews for his edgy, curly portrayal of activist Abbie Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7 [also on Netflix].
The 49-year-old father of three, whose 10-year-old wife is the Australian favorite Isla Fisher, is undecided about the state of the United States now and after the elections.
“First of all, I’m a comedian, I’m an actor, I’m not a philosopher, I’m not an academic. I wish we as a society would listen to the academics and experts rather than the demagogues. Therefore, as someone who has had some fame, I always hesitate to express any views. I think we are going to have an increasingly difficult time as more and more people die from coronavirus, and a lot of it is obviously due to politicians refusing to listen to experts, ”he offers.
“So, will something good come of this terrible time that haunted humanity? I hope so, but there will be so much suffering and so much death that it is difficult to be positive about it. ”
* * Borat Follow-up Movie: Amazing Bribe Handing over to the American Regime to Support the Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Now Streamed on Amazon Prime
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