In the Bag

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story deals with the shocking climax of the recently releasedBorat movie. If you have not seen the movie and don't want to know about the bit at the end dealing with Pam Anderson and Borat's sack because you would rather be surprised, you really should not read past this point.

The Borat movie was a huge success last weekend, earning more than $26 million, a record for a movie opening on 800 screens—the previous mark was held by Fahrenheit 9/11. Already touted as one of the funniest movies ever made—which it is—it is a fictional documentary in which the Kazakh journalist Borat, the creation of Sacha Baron Cohen, interacts with Americans who believe they are taking part in a documentary about their country. This movie may prove disastrous for some of those people—especially a group of young South Carolina rednecks whose prospects for dating and not getting their ass smoked by African Americans unhappy with their sentiments that we should still have slavery were severely compromised by their appearance—and more than a few others have expressed their anger, some going so far as to mention legal action.

For anyone who lives in Orange County, the most outrageous and puzzling scene takes place in the film's climax when Borat, smitten by sexpot Pam Anderson, attempts to “marry” her by placing her in a traditional Kazakh wedding sack. The scene takes place at the Virgin Megastore at the Block At Orange, where Anderson has come to sign books. After waiting patiently among men eager to have Anderson sign naked pictures of herself, Borat attempts to wed her with all the lan with which someone bags a wolverine. The scene quickly devolves into pandemonium, with Anderson, Borat, security personnel and various others piled high in a scrum. There's a quick cut to Borat chasing Anderson out into the Block parking lot before he is grabbed by mall security.

What is bound to confuse Orange County audiences is how Cohen escaped death. This is, after all, a county where teenage girls are shot dead for holding small knives and young men are shot by off-duty INS officers who desire that the stereo be turned down, where folks die in various stages of arrest, some hogtied, some not. How could it be that a guy attacks one of the most famous people in the world and doesn't get so much as kinda brutalized?

Could it be that a movie where the joke is that everything that is happening really happened has as its climax a completely staged event? Those connected with the movie, Anderson included, have refused to talk about that possibility, and when I posed the question to Jonathan Collins, director of security at the Block, all he would say was: “Yeah, the whole thing was planned. They made arrangements with us. Yeah, they told us what they would be doing. The thing in the store, the chase, all of it.”


. . . . Um . . . Okay.

“It was supposed to look authentic, and we waited and waited for hours because it had to look real to get the effect they wanted,” said Collins, who added that the security personnel subduing Borat were in fact actors, not mall security. Collins' people were on the scene to make sure things didn't get out of hand with the fans who knew nothing of the movie.

“It all happened so fast that we really didn't have any problems,” he said. “It caught a lot of people off-guard.”

Collins said that if the attack had been real, his men would have probably done the same thing as the security guys in the movie—”take him into custody, call PD, everything we can do up to our limitations.”

He also mentioned that he had a chance to talk to Anderson for a few minutes before the attack and found her quite nice, though “teeny.”

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