Bruno: Movie Review
Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Gustaf Hammarsten
Director: Larry Charles
Unless you've been living on the moon, chances are you'll have heard all
Thanks to the endless barrage of recent publicity, there can't be anyone
who's not witnessed Sacha Baron Cohen's gay Austrian fashionista in some form or
But under all the constant hype, there is a film out there - following on
from the shock and awe(some) tactics of Cohen's last outing on screen as Borat,
there really wasn't any other character left in his repertoire outside of
Basically, in this cinematic outing, following a major faux pas at an
Austrian fashion show, Bruno finds himself blacklisted from the scene.
In a move not too dissimilar to Borat, he heads to America to achieve
And that's it for the plot (such as it is).
What Bruno is, on the surface, is a collection of real life sketches (some
feeling a little false and staged in places it must be said) as Sacha Baron
Cohen's alter ego pushes it as far as he can go while interacting with the "real
However, like Borat, Bruno succeeds by bringing the worst out in people as
they either bow to political correctness or hang themselves by displaying
bigoted beliefs - cue many awkward pauses from those who are caught out.
While Borat was at times, squirm inducing, Bruno is likely to shock
and offend a lot of people - with plenty of graphic sex jokes, without wanting
to sound like a prude, it's not going to be to everyone's taste.
Bruno succeeds in, once again, reveling in pockets of American life which are
uncomfortable with some of the modern day gay lifestyle - which isn't really
anything new or original.
In fact it's fair to say there is a certain frisson of disappointment that it
follows same pattern as Borat - foreigner in America, seeking fame and on a road
trip - and pushing people into uncomfortable situations.
But it's also fair to say at times, this is very, very funny, irreverent,
scabrous and obscene.
In some of the more amusing moments, Bruno finds himself trying to negotiate
peace in the middle East; stripped of his child during an appearance on an
American chat show and beaten at a swingers' party.
While poking fun at the celebrity culture and penchant for adopting African
children is nothing new, Baron Cohen does it very well and manages to steal a
lot of humour from people's reactions to his clearly inflammatory behaviour.
The most shocking part of the film though comes from the public.
Once again it's a real eye opener to see what people will do when the
spotlight's turned on them - witness how far American parents will go to get
their babies a job in ad; how uneducated some of those in the charity business
are and how bigoted some religious people can be.
The producers must have been rubbing their hands with glee as they watched
what people would say when the cameras are turned on&
Sacha Baron Cohen clearly has pushed it as far as he can go - witness being
pursued in the Middle East because of one of his outfits; meeting with a
terrorist to try and achieve fame via kidnapping; his (brief) interview with
Harrison Ford is hilarious - there really is nowhere else left for him to go
with the celebrity interviewer.
Baron Cohen needs praise though for his quick thinking - he's clearly lived
the characters for so long that he knows exactly what they'd do in certain
situations - and how to achieve maximum humour and discomfort for those in the
But on the evidence of Bruno, he's clearly had a lot of fun perverting
opinions and subverting attitudes - there are a lot of belly laughs to be had in
truly unexpected places. It's a slightly uneven film overall with the various
situations sown together on a very thin thread - and it never really achieves
the irreverent highs of Borat.
It'll be very interesting to see what he chooses to do next.