11
Jul
2009
Review: Bruno
Bruno
Sam
While I may sound like a pretentious d-bag, I believe that most people still do not get Sascha Baron Cohen's act. His newest film, Bruno, made we wonder how a figure so popular can be so widely misunderstood. Film nerds, jocks, the young, and the old loved Borat. But they don't love him for the same reason. I suspect the same will happen of this movie except to a much lesser extent than the Borat-mania that occurred last go around. In this film Cohen portrays over-the-top fashion reporter, Bruno. After losing his hit show in Austria, Bruno decides to go to America to become famous. His quest to be the most famous person in the world is used as the plot device to go between bits where Cohen does what he does best.

Needless to say the plot in this movie is incredibly thin (as is the love story with his assistant). The point of this is not to tell a great story, but to set up the sketches or bits he does with unsuspecting folks. As Bruno, Cohen shows us the dark underbelly of some of the idiots and bigots in this country, much like he did in Borat. He goes huntin' with some good ol' boys, tries to become straight (just like those stars Kevin Spacey, Tom Cruise, and John Travolta) and interviews seemingly insane stage parents who would put their child in many sorts of danger just to get them in a photo shoot. These prove to be funny and shocking which is what (I think) he is going for. What he isn't going for is what I fear are two camps most people who aren't in on the joke fall into:

1. Cohen is homophobic and propagating a message that all gay people dress ridiculous and love shoving crazy shit up their ass.

To the people that fall in this group, get off your high horse and look at what he's doing. Of course he dresses insane how would he get the reaction of real homophobic people if he presented himself as a realistic human being? He shows up as what a homophobe would characterize gay people as in order to get them as riled up as possible. Yes, Cohen does ridiculous stuff like shove a remote up his ass or has crazy sex with his pygmy boy toy. He wants a laugh and he gets it. Anyone who believes that the shit he does in this movie is normal behavior is stupid.

2. This is funny, he's gay, isn't that inherently hilarious?

For all the weird shit he does in the movie I don't think Cohen wants people leaving laughing at gay people in general. He wants people to laugh at this character who would never exist. The joke in one scene in the movie is when he is shackled up with his assistant in some bondage type stuff, funny I guess. But the joke is when they leave their hotel still shackled together without clothes and crash a gay bashing rally.

Of course I could be sitting in another camp of pretentious d-bags that watched Da Ali G show and think we get everything about Sascha Baron Cohen when what he really wants is us to just laugh at his dick. Whatever his intentions, Bruno made me laugh, for better or for worse. Not as funny as Borat, but what is?

B+
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