Bruno - Movie Review

By Jonathan W. Wind

"What's D&G," asks Bruno, "Why Dolce & Gabanna, Hello?"

I have to say I wasn't really expecting to enjoy Bruno, so when we arrived at the movie theater I was already uneasy, I'd seen the trailer - would I be inclined to storm out indignantly, as some people actually did?. My partner and I settled ourselves in, expecting a kind of gay "Borat." "Borat" was Sacha Baron Cohen's first foray into the "reality movie," not a documentary, mind you, more the thinking man's expose, and it was pretty funny. But all I kept hearing about "Bruno" was "it's over the top," and, well, it is, but it's even more than that.

From the opening frame, no credits, Bruno plunges in. Bruno is a flamboyant limp-wristed fashion reporterr from Austria, a screamer with no boundaries. There are suggestively graphic scenes so preposterous I pondered my own sanity, but gradually the message emerges.

Bruno leaves a Milanese fashion show in disarray, confuses Hammas with hummas, insults Palestinian terrorists, American hunters, swingers, evangelists, even presidential candidates, all races, religions, especially his own: Judiasm, all genders and persuasions, even entire audiences to the point where people throw him out, some even throw chairs, no one is spared. I wondered for his safety when scenes ended abruptly with him fleeing some enraged mob.

The scenes change often, and transpire all across the globe - but just listen and maybe you will discern that message as it drifts elusively through the interviews with the stage mom who will do anything, the model and her tough life, perhaps the chat with Paula Abdul, even Harrison Ford - all the vacant, contradictory lip-service, it makes you wonder, do they care if I listen in, as their minds lurch out of gear answering Bruno's questions.

Sacha Baron Cohen has not escaped being himself pegged as over-provocative and manipulative, his shenanigans have earned him many enemies, and often lawsuits. Sometimes cameras are obviously there and sometimes perhaps not, each viewer has to decide for himself. Sacha Baron Cohen is a 37 yo frequent Oscar and Emmy award nominee for his HBO gig Ali G, but has scored only a Golden Globe, making a scene even with his acceptance speech. He's a Cambridge University grad with a quick wit pinpointing the sad state of some lives, the bigotry and hate they display and the ignorance they practice.

Barbara Walters insists Bruno will only make homophobes more homophobic, and that it's actually rated xxx and I say all this may be true, Babs, but I say see it anyway, it's hilarious and thought provoking, just bring your savvy and your intellect, and leave all impossibilities at the door.

© 2009 - Jonathan W. Wind - Air Date: 08/26/09
Movie Magazine International