The film being released little more than a week prior to election day was the giveaway:
- The plot of the film is for Borat to deliver his 15-year-old daughter to Vice President Mike Pence in order to hopefully buy favor with the “Strongman,” Donald Trump, for Kazakhstan. But the whole point of the movie is to expose just how wretched and horrible Trump voters are.
- He goes to CPAC, but he can’t get in so he has to wear a disguise. What disguise does he choose? KKK robes. Because all conservatives are in the KKK, everyone knows that. He must not have gotten the response he wanted because he quickly moves off of that “gag.” I’m sure he was hoping to catch even one person at the event reacting favorably to his Klan outfit so that he could portray that person as the typical CPAC attendee.
- Republicans are the butt of virtually every joke in the movie.
- There are three Americans that Borat and his daughter encounter in their travels that do not come off looking like knuckle-dragging morons: a black woman who inspires his daughter to become a feminist, and two older Jewish ladies who convince Borat that the Holocaust was real.
- The climax of the movie is when his daughter pretends to be a journalist and interviews Rudy Giuliani. I guess he came off as kind of sleazy, sure, but she definitely coaxed him in to a lot of that stuff. And the editing of course made him look even sleazier. Then the supposedly most controversial part of the movie was when they “caught” him tucking in his shirt and tried to make it seem like he was jerkin’ it. The whole point of the scene was to make him look like a dirtbag, and I guess they kind of succeeded. At least they’ll have that scene to hang their hats on over the next four years of Trump.
- It ends with Borat becoming a feminist. Seriously.
- I understood most of the references in the movie, but that’s because I’m on Twitter for several hours a day. The movie’s target audience is blue check political journalists who spend all day on Twitter. That’s where most of the quips and jokes originate. I watched the movie with some friends who aren’t on Twitter and I don’t think they picked up on half the jokes. It was honestly pretty cringy because so much of those “references” are based off of Fake News.
- The movie makes crystal clear that in today’s America, the only people that are not off-limits for Hollywood to make fun of are Trump voters, and Southerners more generally (who are of course presumed to be Trump voters). It’s due to both Hollywood fully embracing the role of state propaganda department, and the fact that Trump voters are the only people that will not throw a hissy fit and try to get the movie banned.
- At the end of the movie, Borat’s village in Kazakhstan changes the “Running of the Jew” parade to the “Running of the American,” and the Americans are, of course, Trump voters. The female one, “Karen,” shoots Dr. Fauci with a gun she bought at Walmart. Yeah, very subtle.
- As the movie ends, the words “NOW GO VOTE” appear on screen, as if it wasn’t already abundantly obvious what the whole point of the movie was.
There were some genuinely funny apolitical moments in the movie, though. In fact the non-political jokes were–shocker–the funniest ones.
I didn’t get offended or upset over the movie. Partly because I’m not a liberal snowflake, but mostly because the whole thing was kind of pathetic, honestly. It was trying way too hard to be mean to Republicans; it was very on-the-nose. It seemed kinda desperate.
You can’t make comedy when you’re Angry As F*ck. It’s hard to be funny when your primary motive is hatred, rather than making people laugh.