With only a few weeks until the US election, British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is poised to release a highly-anticipated sequel to his acclaimed—and controversial—movie Borat on Oct. 23, and it may contain a few nasty October surprises for Republicans.
The groundbreaking 2006 comedy mixed in cutting-edge social commentary by luring unwitting participants into awkward, madcap situations.
Cohen originated the character of Borat Sagdiyev, a fictional Kazakh journalist, on his series “Da Ali G Show.”
The film, directed by Larry Charles, grossed $262 million worldwide and was nominated for best adapted screenplay at the Academy Awards.
Its brilliance lay in his anonymity and in the emphasis placed on capturing the unscripted bystander reactions to the escalating absurdity that the filmmakers had engineered.
But his flash-in-the-pan success quickly faded after the film’s success resulted in a newfound celebrity and loss of anonymity for Cohen.
With his ambush gimmick becoming an oft-imitated art-form, he was forced to rely upon increasingly contrived scenarios.
Cohen’s work has also taken on an increasingly malicious and partisan tenor, with a short-lived HBO talk-show targeting conservative figures and setting them up for ridicule.
Some, such as former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, reported that Cohen had outright misled and manipulated them while taking their statements out of context.
Former Alabama Judge Roy Moore, who lost a Senate bid amid innuendo about his relationship with an underage girl, sued Cohen for defamation after he attempted to use a device that would measure pedophilia.
The same appears to be true of his forthcoming Borat sequel, which is slated to go direct to Amazon prior to the Nov. 3 election.
The streaming giant confirmed Tuesday that it has acquired worldwide rights to the film.
It’s reportedly titled: “Borat: Gift of Pornographic Monkey to Vice Premiere Mikhael Pence to Make Benefit Recently Diminished Nation of Kazakhstan.”
Reports have steadily accumulated about the project throughout the summer as it was filmed in secret during the pandemic.
In early July, Rudy Giuliani called the police on Cohen after an interview in which Cohen emerged in character.
Giuliani told Page Six: “This guy comes running in wearing a crazy, what I would say was a pink transgender outfit. It was a pink bikini, with lace.”
In June, Cohen appeared at a far-right rally in Olympia, Washington, posing as a sponsor of the event. He led the crowd in a racially charged singalong, although many indicated afterward that they were immediately suspicious and uncomfortable with it.
Unlike the spontaneity he is known for, Cohen’s producers reportedly organized the entire event and paid for it.
What also remains to be seen is whether Cohen’s controversial and non-politically correct brand of humor still resonates in an era where #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements have made many of his former topics verboten.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press