>> Sunday, July 12, 2009

I haven't seen Borat, so this is the first film I've seen with Sascha Baron Cohen's characters. I did watch Da Ali G Show years ago back when I had HBO. So, I kind of knew what to expect going in, and I kind of didn't.

I would have to characterize Brüno as uneven. It's slow getting started. The second half is definitely better than the first half, not that I can easily identify a midpoint. The model Brüno interviews at the beginning doesn't seem incredibly dumb; she seems to be in on the joke and is just answering his questions. I do appreciate that runway moment though. The fashion industry doesn't seem to have too much of an ability to laugh at themselves. But then, who knows what was cut.

I think what's key to the film, when viewing it, is to remember that it is satirizing not only homophobia but famewhores. The best moments are Brüno interviewing parents pimping their children, a pair of public relations twins, a gay conversion counselor, a talk show that professes "compassion" until a gay man comes on stage and that rabid fight audience at the end, which isn't short on homophobia in the least.

It definitely delves into the bizarre such as a swingers party that has no problem being filmed. I'm really glad they put black boxes covering part of these people fucking. They aren't people that I want to see naked. And that chick who whipped Brü, bleached hair, burnt-to-a-crisp skin and implants aren't making you any prettier.

The family sitting in front of me--two teenagers plus mom and dad--left right before the swingers party towards the end. It was an early-bird showing, not much of a crowd on Sunday morning in Utah. And there was one moment where I thought I was the only one laughing, such as the moment when Brüno and his assistant's assistant crashed an anti-gay group protesting while wearing bondage outfits.

So was it the crowd that didn't find it funny? I didn't find it too surprising that an audience in Utah, not in SLC, wouldn't get certain jokes such as the one I mentioned above. But there are moments when there isn't much to laugh at. Like the psychic who is just trying not to be embarrassed. It's uneven. Most of what happens at the beginning is set up to get Brüno to these adventures in America.

It's quite difficult to sum up. I'm still not sure what I think of it.


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