Sunday, July 12, 2009
Movie Reviews: BRUNO
Bruno, who has no known surname, is a homosexual Austrian fashionista claiming to be a reporter from an Austrian television station. Sacha Baron Cohen who plays Bruno interviews unsuspecting guests about topics such as fashion, entertainment , celebrities and homosexuality, with an emphasis on the latter as each interview progresses.
Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Gustaf Hammarsten
Director: Larry Charles
Opened July 10, 2009
Runtime: 1 hr. 28 min.
Rated R for pervasive strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Genres: Satire, Mockumentary, Comedy
Sacha Baron Cohen has pretty much set the bar incredibly high in terms of shocking audiences if he ever decides to do another mockumentary style film. Bruno is shocking and filled with so many cringe inducing moments that it makes 2006’s Borat look tame by comparison. The opening scene, showing us what Bruno and his pigmy boy toy do in their bedroom, pretty much set s up your going to be in for and if you’re offended by that, you should probably just get up and leave. During its short runtime you’ll see singing penises, a modified stationary bicycle and other visual assault that’s make you fairly uncomfortable and laugh like mad. It’s an interesting tight rope to walk and along the way Cohen manages to destroy as many imaginary lines of what’s considered good taste along the way. As to whether or not Cohen succeeds in exposing gay bigotry or does more harm than good is really up to the eye of the beholder. He plays up the biggest gay stereotypes with his character gets some very strong responses from the unwitting public but it’s really hard to determine if it’s because he exposing the issue or because his character is so outrageous that it’d be nearly impossible to not illicit a major response to him. Regardless of whether he achieves what he intended is, again, up to the viewer but you have to respect Cohen’s willingness to throw himself out there and even put himself in truly dangerous situation at times. It’s all fairly entertaining and hilarious but there are a few dead spots, mainly due to the fact that we have a more formal structure to this mockumentary. Cohen and director Larry Charles give this film a strong narrative structure than Borat meaning that there more sections of the film that just deal with telling the story. It gives Bruno a more traditional feel but the segments are hit or miss. As a whole there are plenty more high points than low points and if you didn’t walk out in the beginning, you’d have gone through a strange trip through celebrity, swinger’s parties and a drunken redneck riot. A strange trip indeed but a pretty damn funny one too.