'I come to California to do election tampering'Jacob Stolworthy, The Independent, 7th November 2018
Balls-out fearlessness from Baron Cohen coupled with gut-wrenching laughs and moments toe-curling social awkwardness.Gareth Hargreaves, On The Box, 24th November 2017
Sacha Baron Cohen has offered to pay fines for six Czech tourists who were arrested in Kazakhstan for wearing nothing but 'Borat' inspired mankinis.BBC, 21st November 2017
Here's a rundown of the best and worst since the year 2000...Sophie Davies, Cult Box, 19th September 2016
The comedian says the Kaskakhstani PM wanted to stop the 2006 film being released - and the row turned into an international incident, hitting trade.James Desborough, The Mirror, 27th February 2016
Borat appears on The Jimmy Kimmel Live show to promote Sacha Baron Cohen's new film. Cohen's character from Kazakhstan says Donald Trump must be a fictional person, because nobody would try to ban all Muslims from the US unless they have a brain 'the size of a female chicken'. Borat concludes that Trump must be another one of Cohen's 'offensive' characters.Jimmy Kimmel, The Guardian, 10th December 2015
Could anyone have foreseen just how great a comedy Borat - or to give it its full title, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan - was going to be? Its star, Sacha Baron Cohen, had honed the satirical stunt documentary to perfection in his Ali G TV series, but had crashed and burned when trying to put the character on the big screen, in the awful Ali G Indahouse. It's still a bit of a mystery why Baron Cohen ever got the chance to make a follow-up, but he wisely went back to the format that had proved itself time and again on TV: set up an apparently clueless fictional character, and send him in to encounter real-life types and get them to make idiots of themselves. Borat, the cheerfully antisemitic TV presenter from Kazakhstan, who had populated Baron Cohen's TV spots since the late 90s, may not have appeared promising material for a feature, but boy, was everyone wrong.
The film is based on a simple idea: Borat is making a documentary about the US. But the opening section, in which he introduces his home village and its inhabitants, establishes a tone of breathtaking offensiveness. The "Kazakh" actors clearly have no idea about the outrageous things Borat is saying about them, and Baron Cohen crowns proceedings by staging a "running of the Jew", supposedly a regular local pastime. Thus the stage is set: the film is an incredibly cruel satire, aimed at both post-Soviet bigotry and American social dysfunction.
By the time he gets to the US, Baron Cohen is in full flow, the superficial ingenuousness of his creation opening all sorts of doors. Arguably the most spectacular, and certainly unplanned, result is the consternation he causes by bravely singing a spoof national anthem at a rodeo in Texas; the electric hostility he triggers in the spectators unnerves one of the horses so much it stumbles and falls to the ground.
Baron Cohen, as has been pointed out, can be faulted perhaps for bamboozling the uncomprehending and the weak. But that misses the point of much of what makes Borat great: the joke is almost always on him as well. The sort of comedy that Baron Cohen is trying for is high-risk for sure, and hardly guaranteed to provide results - but Borat is all gold. We may never see its like again.Andrew Pulver, The Guardian, 11th October 2013
Back when he could still get away with hiding behind a large moustache, a Golden Globe winning Sacha Baron Cohen took various dim, unsuspecting Americans for a ride with this controversial mockumentary.
Posing as journalist Borat Sagdiyev, a racist, anti-Semitic simpleton from Kazakhstan, the London comic actor here goes to the US on a simple quest to find and marry Pamela Anderson.
Oscar-nominated for its screenplay, it was banned in all Arab countries except Lebanon and was initially denounced by the Kazakh government, who then embraced it when it was shown to have caused a surge in tourist interest.Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 16th September 2013