Thursday, 9 July 2009

Brüno (2009)

In 2006 Sacha Baron Cohen introduced the world to Borat, a reporter from Kazakhstan who shocked the USA when traveling around and looking for Pamela to make her his wife. The "semi-documentary" style movie gained Cohen an Oscar-nomination for Adapted Screenplay and many considered Borat the best comedy of the year.

This year Cohen brings his third character, a gay Austrian fashionista named Brüno, to the big screen. This time however it is not as easy to make the movie as documentary in style because Cohen's face is so well known all over that it's hard to fool people.

In Austria Brüno runs his own tv-show called Funkyzeit, but when he creates a disaster in the Milan fashion week, he gets fired and even his boyfriend dumps him. Deeply hurt Brüno decides to move to L.A. and become a celebrity there. His assistant Lutz (Gustaf Hammarsten) is the only one who has faith in him, and comes along.

In L.A. Brüno finds out it is not easy to become a celebrity, especially with his style - stereotypic gay guy who is not afraid to show a talking penis in his tv-show. Lessons are learned though, and as people become famous for their charity work, Brüno decides to bring peace to Middle-East. When even that does not work, he adopts a baby from Africa. And when even *that* does not work, he decides that to become a celebrity, one must turn heterosexual, like "Tom Cruise did".

Brüno is one of the funniest comedies this year. It is one of those that really make you laugh out loud. But it is not a movie to everyone as it's goal is clearly to shock conservative people. The story flows in a similar manner as does the story of Borat - Brüno travels around, meets real people and makes his moves to shock, irritate and question people, their openness and morals. This includes meeting a preacher who turns homosexuals to heterosexuals, a couple of PR-blondes, a bunch of hunters and a talk show audience.

Some parts are clearly staged but most of the movie is still hilarious, and especially the final scene in the wrestling ring made me cry out of laughter. And it is not just Cohen who makes the audience laugh, it is also the counter shame that one feels for the people who meet Brüno, who has totally no limits.

But despite its controversial theme, is Brüno himself homophobic? The stereotypic gay and the extreme sex scenes may be translated as homophobic as well.

Final verdict: Extremely funny and controversial comedy of a gay Austrian fashionista by Sacha Baron Cohen. Brings up the prejudices many people have against gay people and shocks with the open sexuality.

Directed by Larry Charles
Written by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines
Cast Sacha Baron Cohen, Gustaf Hammarsten

by Paivi


Annie said...

I have to say again: not my kind of humour. :-) I watched his previous movie with my mouth open and rolling my eyes.

Then again, Ben Stiller's Zoolander was hilarious!! And tasteful... I'm no conservative but Sasha Baron Cohen is just yucky. :-P

Paivi said...

Annie: Cohen's humour is definitely not for everyone, but I like it that some people dare to go over the boundaries of what is considered good taste in mainstream and question people's reactions.

I also liked Zoolander and was laughing with tears in my eyes when watching it. Cohen's humour is definitely more provocative and I suppose that's the point of doing this kind of movies.

Sanna said...

I love Zoolander too :) but Cohen's humour as Päivi said goes just a bit further. It goes so far in fact that at some points I was also irritated and rolling my eyes Still, I was in awe cause the boundaries are broken so cleverly...

Love this blog too :)

Paivi said...

Thank you Sanna :) It's been a while that the blog has not been updated during the summer holidays, but I'll continue the updates soon again.