Over the weekend I saw the film, Borat…
I have taken away some things from this brash and brave comedy of Sasha Baron Cohen. He is fearless in his portrayal of completely fabricated characters. It seems akward to refer to him by anything other than the name of the character he is. He completely buys into his own lie and makes the people he interacts with buy into it as well. Ironically, the act he is putting on (devoid of all veracity) draws absolute honesty from those around him. Also, he enters every situation with total disregard for consequence. Perhaps this is a product of taking on the role of Borat, but it seems a more general quality of his brand of comedy. In any case, it illicits feelings from his ‘victims’ so real they are unexpected, especially on the silver screen. The people he meets say anything because they feel liberated from judgement and consequence as well. By taking sterotypes to an extreme he causes ‘normal’ folks to exibit the qualities that define stereotypes.
True, Cohen picks and chooses his meetings and leads people where he wants them to go, but maybe it all just shows how morally weak we are. Or are we too kind to disagree? He runs into both and those that disagree with him show extreme discomfort in the things he says but the correlate is much funnier on screen.
Of course this may all change now that the cat is out of the bag and people become more familiar with what the situation is.