Lost in Translation It Ain’t

Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian
Director: Larry Charles

Plot Summary: A comedian impersonates a man from Kazakhstan and tours the U.S.A., meeting people and getting into humorous situations.

Humorous in a “fish out of water” sort of way, this supposed documentary follows the antics of a young man as he tours the country, reacting to people as if he were a citizen of Kazakhstan, a long member of the U.S.S.R. before it went belly-up in the early ’90s.

Sacha Baron Cohen plays Borat, upbeat and eager to set off for the US of A. We first meet him in his country, showing off friends and family. He and his producer Azamat (Davitian) set off on their journey, landing first in New York. The plot of the movie hinges on our acceptance of his crazy culture and broken English, which he passes off perfectly. I could smile when his pet escapes in a crowded subway, and how the typical New Yorker deals with such a scene. That type of reaction is common throughout the movie, changing of course as the locals do.

I’m not quite sure who is “in” on the joke. I can be fairly confident that Pamela Anderson and her handlers are, but otherwise I have a feeling that nobody in the film thought it anything other than what it was supposed to be: a documentary filmed by a foreigner. I also smiled at the rendition of his country’s national anthem in a completely inappropriate setting.

Overall I found this movie funny in most parts, slightly less so in others. It isn’t sophisticated by any stretch of the imagination, though, so be warned that body function and other gross jokes will be told. And those float on the height of humor…not!

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