Brüno – Movie review

A ‘sequel’ to Borat, I’d give Brüno, on a scale of 1 to 10, an A -
Bruno movie poster

Summary

In the movie Brüno, Sasha Baron Cohen plays an Austrian gay wannabe-celebrity and brings out some truly hilarious, fish-out-of-water situations, and raw, sexually explicit humor to expose some contradictions in the society while leaving you rolling with laughter and somewhat reeling under the shocking portrayal of certain acts.

Let’s face it, I’m a huge fan of the talented Sasha Baren Cohen and his previous alter ego’s – Borat – a reporter from Kazakhstan, and Ali G – a white British rapper. Both these shows have been immensely successful for their version of humor and that probably led to high levels of anticipation for the ‘sequel’ Bruno. I enjoyed the movie, it exceeded my expectations.

The plot

I’ll refrain from talking about specific stories and scenes since I don’t want to spoil it for you, and also because I can ramble about it for hours!
Bruno movie poster
Brüno, who has no known surname, is a homosexual character claiming to be a reporter from an Austrian television station and interviews unsuspecting guests about topics such as fashion, entertainment, celebrities and homosexuality, with an emphasis on the last subject as each interview progresses. (Wikipedia). In a style somewhat similar to his previous movie Borat, he catches celebrities, professionals and common people off-guard, prompting them to react to what some would call unholy lunatic situations.

Analysis of the movie

  • Reinforcing homosexual stereotypes – ?
    Bruno’s role as a flamboyant fashion-conscious effeminate gay man who is all over the place doesn’t help quell the stereotypes about homosexuals that are out there. While there is nothing wrong with any of that, only a small percentage of gay men could identify themselves with such portrayal. …for the uninitiated, it’s fine to go one step at a time, but note that this movie is probably step #10…At the same time, I think the movie couldn’t have been so much fun had it not shown a stereotypical character. Stereotyping may be incorrect, but the explicitness shown here is so over the top, that one cannot but laugh at the things he does. I am not sure I thoroughly liked Bruno’s portrayal of homosexual acts, but he certainly made it a vehicle for shocking humor in a way that has rarely been done before. I do feel that conventional / mainstream audience will be repulsed by the graphic homosexual imagery – so that’s a warning for the conservative or the ‘I’m-not-so-sure-of-this-whole-gay-thing’ types. For the uninitiated, it’s fine to go one step at a time and this is probably step#10. :)
  • Sexually explicit scenes
    Bruno movie poster What was previously known to exist in society but was seldom spoken openly, except perhaps in certain internet communities, is explicitly shown on screen here, in a boundary-pushing depiction of sexual imagery. This involves strange sexual practises, and lots of questionable acts. There are a number of suggestive (homosexual and heterosexual) scenes that will leave you wondering… who the heck does that! Again, Bruno has crossed all rational limits and the only thing holding him was his imagination. This sexual scenes in this movie movie are probably ten-times as explicit as the naked fighting scene shown in Borat. You’ll see a talking penis, large fake boobs, demonstration of a blowjob, kinky toys, among many other things.
  • The actor:
    Sasha Baron Cohen is no doubt a talented actor. His characters: Borat – a reporter from Kazakhstan, Ali G – a white British rapper and now Brüno – the gay Austrian, are all excellent pieces of role play. The subtlety of his German and Russian accents are perfectly done – judging by the little knowledge of these languages I have. I cannot imagine a straight British comedian playing a flamboyant gay Austrian character and doing such a fantastic job. Where did he learn all those moves?
  • His methods
    Catching unsuspecting people off-guard and bringing them in a situation where they let their guard down – on camera – and say stupid things is a unique ‘Borat’ way of exposing what we already know. The movie Borat had to face several lawsuits from ‘innocent’ people who didn’t know they were going to a be part of the movie, and I am guessing that Bruno will see the same.


Commentary

  • Homophobia
    Bruno has once again employed exaggerated caricature as a tool to show that there is a lot of homophobia …Gay correction centers are places where they ‘fix’ homosexuality by brainwashing subjects with Bible preachings and often using tools such as electric shocks…in our society. Whether its his encounter with skinheads, Christian rock bands, Republican senators, Priests, Black talk-shows or Sexuality ‘correction’ centers, Brueno exposes the lack of education, awareness or acceptability of homosexuality in society. I don’t know if homophobia or anti-homosexuality will ever be fixed – especially because society is getting increasingly polarised probably on all issues, be it environment, government, religion or sexuality. At several instances in the movie, one can hear people saying things like “Fuckin Homo,” or “Go home Fag” or “Don’t try to recruit my children in your thing,” etc. I think its sad that we harbour so much hatred, ignorance and dissent for other human beings.
  • Questionable Parenting
    Bruno movie poster Seriously, what makes some people believe that only straight couples can make good parents? Sasha Cohen gets some moms and dads to agree to resort to expose their kids to extreme measures just so that the kids can get into show-biz. The incidents will leave you shocked – I don’t even want to describe them here.
  • Ethics of celebrity-media culture
    Poverty in Africa, humanitarian assistance, environmental crisis, etc – if you think that those chest-thumping self-congratulatory celebrity activists have hijacked critical issues for bolstering their personal agendas, welcome to dealing with them the Bruno way. Bruno tries to find “a world issue to champion that will make me famous” and exposes something unexpected.


Recommendation

…If Borat pushed the envelope, Brüno just showed that envelope off a cliff – you have been warned….Do I still need to spell it out? If you loved Borat and Ali G, move your asses right now and go watch the movie! If you didn’t like Borat or don’t want to see homo-centric, sexually explicit, raw, sarcastic, bold humor, better sit at home and have some tea, no worries, we are cool.


Here are the top 10 reasons for seeing the movie Bruno, presented by David Letterman and Bruno himself:

And if you’d like to see the Bruno movie trailer, here we go:

You’ll enjoy the movie, hopefully you liked my Bruno movie review. If there’s a seat belt, fasten it!
Cheers!

20 thoughts on “Brüno – Movie review

  1. i didnt know you write movie reviews too.. its great! after reading all that i am all excited to watch the movie. maybe next week or so. i didnt enjoy borat a lot though so i hope this one is better.
    l8r!

  2. I saw the promo last weekend and I was in splits!
    That scene in which he is comparing the 4 guys with the girls in Sex and the city and the one in which he says that he exchanged the baby for an ipod brought water to my eyes.
    I loved Borat and I will definitely see this one!

  3. Good to hear your positive review, what I’ve read elsewhere has been it’s good, but not as good as Borat. I can’t wait to see it this week!

  4. I went to see the movie and love it. I do think Baron-Cohen is an awesome actor, and I love his quick-wit! I almost feel embarrassed for him sometimes, I’d never have the guts to do that.

  5. Oh. I have not read the post. The movie is planned today with some straight friends … it wud be more interesting to see their reactions. Just counting some hours :-)). My friend told me that he absolutely cracked up on some scene whereas most of the crowd went “Oh My God!!!”

  6. Okay then we are cool. Your review is better than a movie Priyank. I watched Borat and was rolling on the ground laughing like crazy. The problem I have if comes to sexual scenes I am very shy and I could hide under the ground if I watch them, I guess this is result of my very disciplined parents, lol. As a character I don’t mind Borat or Bruno, lol, funny character, and his is in fact talented if he can make people laugh. BTW did you know that this movie was banned somewhere in Russia because of its sexual content? Again, thanks for sharing, your rock!!!! Excellent review. Anna :)

    • Hey there Anna,
      I enjoyed Borat a lot too! Now that I think of it, I like Bruno less n less, maybe I’d downgrade the rating a bit…! Its not one of those movies that remain in your memories! :) I’m glad you liked the review, thanks so much for stopping by!

  7. Bah!! I am not watching it!! Alli G was not bad though.
    Anyway, I came here foe some shameless self advertising!!!
    I have started writing at ऐका हो ऐका http://aikahoaika.wordpress.com/

    मराठी माणसाला मराठी कमेंट्स ची गरज आहे….. तेव्हा आपले चरण आमच्या नव्या ब्लॉग ला लागू द्या :)

    BTW, where is link for “Home” of “Weblog” in navigation at top-right corner?

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