Baron Cohen preys on Giuliani, Trump fans in Borat sequel
Los Angeles – Borat is back – and the fictional Kazakh journalist’s new film spells bad news for Holocaust deniers, Donald Trump supporters and the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, out on Oct 23 on Amazon Prime, is the sequel to Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2006 smash hit, which grossed US$260 million (S$352m), earned an Oscar nomination and spawned endless poorly-punctuated catchphrases.
Filmed in secret this summer as the US’ coronavirus lockdown eased, the follow-up again sees the British comedian hoodwink members of the public and politicians via his bumbling and highly offensive reporter alter-ego.
While the plot is under wraps, word of Baron Cohen’s latest outrageous ambushes has begun to spread, with Giuliani admitting in July to being set up in a fake hotel room “interview” with an attractive and flirtatious young woman.
In the film, the encounter appears to leave the 76-year-old former New York mayor in a highly compromising situation, caught quite literally with his hands down his pants.
Giuliani earlier told the New York Post he had thought the meeting was a serious interview about the Trump administration’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I only later realised it must have been Sacha Baron Cohen. I thought about all the people he previously fooled and I felt good about myself because he didn’t get me,” Giuliani told the publication, adding he was a “fan of some of his movies”.
Giuliani, a close Trump ally who introduced the president’s speech to accept his party nomination this August, is far from the only Republican target left red-faced by the movie.
Baron Cohen described in a recent Time op-ed how he feared for his life after crashing a gun rights rally in Washington state for the movie.
The film’s loose premise sees Borat – disgraced by the first film’s events – offered a chance to redeem himself and his country by presenting a gift to Vice President Mike Pence, who also appears briefly in the movie.
A viral marketing campaign is well under way, including a parody Kazakhstan government Twitter account with messages including “We salute Trump for crush Covid given to him by Democrats” and congratulating “Vice Pussygrabber Mikhael Pence” on his debate performance.
Baron Cohen appeared in character Monday on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show, grilling the comedian with a “normal Kazakh plague questionnaire” before conducting an unorthodox physical exam on his host for coronavirus.
While Kimmel was in on the gag, many of Baron Cohen’s victims in the movie are once again unwitting members of the public.
Multiple subjects of the original including a pair of brash, drunken college students sued the filmmakers for conning them into appearing in the film.
The follow-up is already the subject of a lawsuit from the estate of a Holocaust survivor who passed away this summer, shortly after she was filmed talking with Baron Cohen by a small fake documentary crew.
Judith Dim Evans appears in the film to educate Borat on the Holocaust and is presented in a positive light.
“Upon learning after giving the interview that the movie was actually a comedy intended to mock the Holocaust and Jewish culture, Ms Evans was horrified and upset,” reads the lawsuit filed by her daughter.
Baron Cohen, who is Jewish, is an outspoken campaigner against anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, particularly against their spread on social media platforms. - AFP