Larry Charles :: USA :: 2009 :: 1h23

An extravagant homosexual Austrian fashion reporter is ostracised from the European fashion community after an unfortunate incident at a Milan fashion show provoked by his suit made entirely out of Velcro(!?), on which he decides to fly to LA and try his luck over there at becoming famous. This is the general pitch for the fictional character of Brüno (Sacha Baron Cohen) as he interacts with passer-by’s, mostly in the US, to provoke them.

As with their previous film of Borat, the audience is confronted with one embarrassing situation after another, for both Brüno and unsuspecting Americans, transgressing the limits of good taste, decency and acceptable morality. What is real and what is set up is impossible to distinguish, leaving the public just to laugh at his outlandish comments and in-your-face behaviour, hoping for the best. To judge how absurd it gets, I think the worst moment in the film was when Brüno skids off on a scooter holding a baby boy in his hands, narrowly swerving around an oncoming car. I sincerely hope we can trust the film crew NOT to have actually done that.

As with Borat, the movie is probably funnier for the Americans than for the Europeans, partly because the character has been tailored to offend (/ challenge) the American public and partly because the film dupes people famous in the US. I have to commend Sacha Baron Cohen on his creativity at getting this all off the ground, but it does still leave a sour taste – earning a living through self-ridicule is one thing, but through the exposing of others is far from glorious. Judge for yourselves if you want to reward him for it.


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