‘Brüno’ ist wunderbar

Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest character displays the lengths he’ll go to get laughs for the desensitized


Universal Pictures' upcoming comedy Br

Ashley Goetz

Universal Pictures' upcoming comedy Br

âÄúBrünoâÄù DIRECTED BY: Larry Charles STARRING: Sacha Baron Cohen RATED: R SHOWING: Area Theaters The initial results (Metacritic , Rotten Tomatoes) all suggest one thing: âÄúBrünoâÄù is inferior to star Sacha Baron CohenâÄôs 2006 faux documentary, âÄúBorat.âÄù Furthermore, thereâÄôs relative fervor suggesting that Baron CohenâÄôs latest is overly crude, mean-spirited and even lazy. Do the masses have a point? Well, not really. While âÄúBrünoâÄù may be harder to stomach (it pushes taboos and morals to the limit), Baron Cohen proves, with able direction from Larry Charles (âÄúBorat,âÄù âÄúReligulousâÄù), that his humor is still razor sharp, ambitious and, perhaps most importantly, commendably brave. First, letâÄôs get the plot points out of the way. Sacha Baron CohenâÄôs character in this film is, obviously, Brüno. A 19-year-old Austrian fashionista, Brüno endures a massive mishap at a fashion show in Milan and finds himself blacklisted, his fashion show canceled and his âÄúpygmy flight attendantâÄù boy-toy is quick to leave him. In an existential funk, Brüno heads to America to revive his career. From there, his efforts toward fame set the framework for a running series of gags in which he shoots a pilot for a cock-centric television show, attempts a sex video with 2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul, adopts a black child (O.J.), endures a downfall (rock bottom = âÄúcarbicideâÄù gorging) and eventually finds a new means for fame: heterosexuality. From there, his struggles with feigned vagina intrigue really gets gut-busting. The gags themselves are raunchy delights. No âÄúRâÄù movie in recent memory has pushed content limits so far. ThatâÄôs not to say âÄúBrünoâÄù rests on its laurels through mere shock value. No, Baron CohenâÄôs ability to provoke, engage and frankly terrify many unsuspecting everyday folks is a testament to his comedic ability. The filmâÄôs linear plot progression is the perfect mold for Baron CohenâÄôs gags to function. As BrünoâÄôs intentions and mindsets evolve, the segue to new mischief is always seamless and eager. However, the most impressive aspect of Baron CohenâÄôs portrayal is his unquestioned bravery. Baron CohenâÄôs courage to test Brüno in various spots in the religiously volatile Middle East is downright remarkable. Many comedians will do a lot for a laugh, but Baron Cohen was in real danger. As misogynistic, anti-Semitic (although Baron Cohen was raised Jewish) and abrasive as âÄúBoratâÄôsâÄù character was, his victims could chalk his misgivings up to the fact Borat plays a naïve Central Asian . ThereâÄôs no intense demonization of the region that the West has simply deemed âÄúunenlightened.âÄù But in terms of intense hatred, BrünoâÄôs fiery brand of homosexuality is, on the other hand, a huge catalyst for discrimination, or at least discomfort for some Americans. âÄúBrünoâÄù is not without its flaws. The line between actors and âÄúunsuspectingsâÄù is more blurred than ever and sometimes the lines fall back on rectum joke territory too frequently. But, as a whole, âÄúBrünoâÄù is simply an outrageously funny film. Not to oversell it, but viewers will actually struggle to breathe at points. Whether itâÄôs his early struggles at fame, or latter struggles with heterosexuality (Brüno tries the National Guard, hunting and cage fighting), Baron CohenâÄôs âÄúBrünoâÄù is as well-executed as it is hilarious.