Fred and Yasser’s Film Club: Week Two, Part One – ‘Borat’ (2006)

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The Premise
Film fanatics and friends
 Fred Sullivan and Yasser Akram are on a mission to watch 25 of one another’s favourite movies. Each week they will watch one movie each and then get together to discuss what they have seen (if Yasser can stay awake). There will be stunned silences and standing ovations, joy and despair, whinging and whooping and it will all be recorded here for you to enjoy.

Last week they kicked things off with a martial arts epic and a Woody Allen tragi-comedy.  This week, they watched the movies at number 24 on the lists. Here is how they got on.

You can read the entires from previous week by checking out the archives on the left of the screen.

You can also access the lists so far by clicking here for Fred’s and here for Yasser’s.

Yasser: How the devil are you?

Fred: Pretty good. Slightly nauseous but I think that is illness as opposed to talking to you. How are you?

YA: Got a headache. That could be all the caffeine, though. Drive-thru Starbucks opposite the Trafford Centre.

FS: Really?

YA: Yeah, and there is a drive-thru Krispy Kreme donuts. Who’d have thought it?

FS: And they say we are getting lazier. What do they know?

YA: (laughs) So, this week I’ve been giggling to myself, and mutual friends have giggled with me.

FS: What about?

YA: The very thought of you watching ‘Borat’ is extremely amusing

FS: Nice segue to the business at hand. Why does that thought amuse you?

YA: I get the impression that whilst watching it you may be sat there with a glass of brandy, smoking a pipe, in a robe, talking in a posh accent at home, you know, pretending to be somewhat upper-class saying things like ‘What on God’s green Earth is this tosh I’ve been subjected to?’

FS: (laughs) That was pretty much my reaction to ‘Anchorman‘… minus the pipe… and the robe… and the brandy.

YA: Single-malt whiskey?

FS: (laughs) ‘Borat’ does make me laugh, just not as frequently as it should have done. The scripted parts of the movie just didn’t amuse me at all.

YA: Not even the naked run through the hotel?

FS: Particularly the naked run through the hotel.

YS: (laughs)

‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’
2006 – USA
Director: Larry Charles
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Pamela Anderson, Luenell, Mitchell Falk

FS: I mentioned ‘Anchorman’ before because I have the same problem with Will Ferrell that I have with SBC (Sacha Baron Cohen). They are not bad actors or untalented comedians, they are just too self-aware and convinced that everything they do is hilarious. It grates on me.

YA: SBC is funnier, though, and a better actor.

FS: Yes, but the scripted parts of ‘Borat’ expose his limitations. I also don’t believe parts of what he gets up to is done with out the victims knowledge.

YA: I think he’s cleverer than you give him credit for. The film is silly and stupid, but there’s an important thing ‘Borat’ does. I believe the film helps explain part of America’s different cultures and how stupid the people are in places.

FS: I think he’s very clever and the character Borat (Cohen) is brilliant.

YA: You must have liked the parts where he exposes the prejudiced people, such as the rodeo manager.

FS: I do. He meets some awful people – and the willingness of people to record their prejudices on camera astounds me – but there was a bit of cruelty in some sections too – the dinner party, the runner from the Jewish couple’s guest house. I think that the move to a full-length feature film meant that SBC felt that he had to go further, be a bit more outrageous, and more insulting.

FS: Maybe you can tell me why you love the film so much.

YA: It just makes me laugh so hard. I also like how SBC picks apart American culture which is supposed to be advanced. He shows that in many places of the “US and A” it’s still backwards.

FS: (laughs) But it is mainly the laughter?

YA: Yeah. It’s a lot more effective if you watch it with friends.

FS: People often say that about comedy films. Does that mean that those that make you laugh out loud in an empty room are better?

YA: There is a small wicked part of me that picked it just knowing you had to watch it. That in itself made me laugh too.

FS: I don’t hate the movie. I admire how SBC keeps in character despite everything that happens. For me it’s just not as consistently funny as it thinks it is.

FS: It lost me after about ten seconds when he says “My name a Borat. I like you. I like sex…”. Why would anyone ever say “I like sex” in that instance?

YA: (laughs) and THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why I picked ‘Borat’

FS: I’m going to rate it now. Did you think I would prefer ‘Fearless‘ or ‘Borat’?

YA: ‘Fearless’. Defo.

FS: Well you are right. I am I am giving ‘Borat’ 5/10. There are funny moments but not nearly enough to merit all the hype that surrounded it when it was released. This is the second time I’ve seen it and, whilst I probably enjoyed it slightly more, it wasn’t by much.

YA: I knew you’d make complaints about it.

Looking for part two of this week’s blog? Click here.


7 thoughts on “Fred and Yasser’s Film Club: Week Two, Part One – ‘Borat’ (2006)

    […] 24. Borat: Cultural Learinings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) Director: Larry Charles Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Pamela Anderson, Luenell, Mitchell Falk Fred’s Rating: 5/10  […]

    […] Earlier this week, the boys discussed Yasser’s choice of the week, ‘Borat‘. Now it’s time for the film at number 24 on Fred’s list, and the discussion takes some unexpected turns. […]

    […] then get together to discuss what they have seen. So far, they have visited China, France, Morocco, Kazakhstan, the English countryside and the human soul itself, and it’s all been here for you to […]

    […] get together to discuss what they have seen. So far, they have visited China, France, Morocco, Kazakhstan, the English countryside and the human soul itself, and it’s all been here for you to […]

    […] Some movies can get away with nearly four hours running time. It is better than ‘Borat‘ and ‘East is East’, but I can understand their inclusion more. […]

    […] ‘Borat‘, ‘East is East‘, now ‘Four Lions’. Is ‘culture clash’ a […]

    […] can’t understand what it is you love about this film so much. Even with something like ‘Borat‘ I can see why people loved it, but this… […]

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