As those who know me, and if such a person exists, cyberstalk me, know I created this blog after writing on another site, which shall remain nameless, for a while. The point is, I have material sitting around waiting to be re-used on occasion I will re-post them here. Some of those articles or reviews may have been extemporaneous at the time but are slightly random now, hence the new title and little intro, regardless enjoy!
I think the most common mistake reviewers will make is to try and compare this film to Borat. While it stars the same man and follows in the same style & formula it needs evaluating on its own merits; just because Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright both joined forces for Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz doesn’t necessarily mean those two projects should be compared either.
Every one falls victim to it on occasion but comparative analysis and film criticism should be separate. While that’s easy to say I think Brüno does pale slightly as compared to the burden of expectation I and others have placed, whether rightly or not, upon it. However, while it might not achieve the title of “Funniest Film of the Year” upon first viewing it is the kind of film for which time will be the ultimate barometer and not knee jerk reaction.
Sacha Baron Cohen does not just seek to make us laugh he seeks to provoke thought, reaction and discomfort both in those he encounters and in the audience.
I know some might argue the merits of a straight man doing this kind of “exposé” but that fact is commentary on society as well. For example, the issue of racism garnered national attention on a very wide level with the publication of Black Like Me in which a white journalist went undercover as a black man. Lastly, whether or not any part or more of it was scripted than previously also doesn’t concern me because as much as it masquerades as a documentary it is a piece of fiction.
Now that all the disclaimers and social commentary questions have been addressed moving on to the actual film, which when all is said and done will either be remembered as a film people find funny or not. It doesn’t just push the boundaries of good taste but far surpasses them. This reviewer personally found the film quite funny. Brüno does follow the same formula as Borat as noted earlier, specifically – a foreigner coming to USA and finding his own American dream, both rather vacuous is commentary in itself and a lightning rod for comedy.
The situations created in this film are memorable: the focus group, the gay converter, the boot camp, the music video, the swinger party, The Richard Bey Show, the Ron Paul and Paula Abdul interviews, the hunting trip, Mideast peace talk, photo casting and the psychic. The wrestling scene is great social commentary if one steps back for a moment and examines the situation. The audience reacted as if someone had died, and the ignorance displayed by the on-screen audience who actually believed the Straight Dave character was appalling.
Ultimately, it was an enjoyable and outlandishly funny film.