Monday, July 13, 2009
Bruno was probably my least favorite character from Da Ali G Show, so I was a bit puzzled when I heard Sacha Baron Cohen was making a movie based on him. Then I saw the trailer and it changed my mind. The word "genius" gets tossed around almost in every conversation I've heard about Cohen, and I've even used it a few times myself. But I think for the kind of character acting he does you'd be hard pressed to find someone more dedicated to the roles he inhabits. I think the real genius comes when he refuses to break character under any circumstances. When most others would flee for their lives, he pushes things way past the point of comfort. There are several points in Bruno, for example, that make you wonder how he even got out alive.
Or maybe that's not genius. Maybe it's just crazy. In any case, it's hilarious. Bruno certainly ups the anty when it comes to uncomfortable (and often gross) situations. Like in Borat Cohen uses his over-the-top characterization to reveal things about people they might not normally reveal in more comfortable settings. He's often going after easy targets, like Bill Maher does in Religulous. No one will be surprised that there are homophobes in Alabama, but it's still funny as hell to see them squirm. And many of these people deserve to be mocked, whether it's the Christian homosexual deprogrammers, or the stage moms who will subject their babies to anything if it means they get the paycheck.
Bruno isn't as funny as Borat, but it's pretty close.