July 13, 2009

Bruno: Not Funny Enough

At no point in "Bruno" did I think I was watching Sacha Baron Cohen play a gay nazi fashionista Austrian named Bruno. Rather I felt like was watching an actual person, not an actor playing one, that's how convincing his performance was. While I do think it's too early to start announcing nominations, I hope that someone shows Cohen some love for his fearless (literally) performance. It takes a huge balls to do the things he does in the movie, and I think he risk taking should be commended.

Beyond the performance Cohen, I found the movie to be decent; funny but not sidesplitting, and most of all incredibly shocking. More than Borat, I felt that Cohen deliberately intended to shock his audience first, and then make us laugh. A scene involving an open casting call for young babies induced many "that's fucked up yo" responses from the audience but no chuckles. It was almost if the filmmakers only wanted to show you just how out of control the quest for fame in our country has become.

This film felt far more fictional than Borat, and I think it was supposed to. There were more characters then the previous film, and the story was also more dependent on them than before, Borat after all was about Pamela Anderson and the climax had him stuffing her in a bag (a joke which never gets old). Yet, Cohen succesfully modified his shtick from Borat and created a new beast, one that didn't lampoon the problems in our society, it skewered them and roasted them over the American lack of tolerance, I just wish it could have been funnier.

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