Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bruno Stirs Up A Fuss.

Unsurprisingly Sacha Baron Cohen's latest docu-comedy-offend-a-fest "Bruno" has created a huge amount of press in both photo opportunities at premeries to press reviews of the movie itself which have been decidely mixed. The box office would indicate a similar feeling too with this weeks US takings down significantly (over 70% according to E!Online) for the second week (though given the summer movie season and the huge takings of Harry Potter it might not be so surprising) and much of the press following the movies first weekend in cinemas centred on how this movie "goes too far" and isn't funny in some quarters to others claiming its a laugh a minute.

Stateside, US TV legend Barbara Walters and the ladies of The View (the US TV smash in the vein of Loose Women which I WISH somebody would screen over here) debated how "appropriate" the sex in the movie was. The discussion is worth a watch for how it sums up many of the various arguments on the movie and also showing how uncomfortable the very "gay" nature of this film makes people.

What I found odd during the week as people spoke about this movie was how vile they thought it was. Am I the only one who thought that for the most part it was no more tasteless than Borat? I do agree that there is more graphic sex and nudity but surely a generation of cinema goers weaned on various teen sex comedies, the uber violent torture porn horror movies of the last few years and the foul mouthed and overly laddish Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen era would be a little less easily shocked by now? I can understand comments about how this movie re-hashs similar ideas and jokes but is in effect a Borat sequel and there is always going to be similarities and shortcomings with movies in that vein.

For my money this film provides lots of laugh out loud moments AND makes you think (could you say that about "The Hangover"? Doubt it). It makes you about celebrity culture, the inherent homophobia layered all over our society (not just in the easy target US south places either) and how uncomfortable people who are gay make us. Yes Bruno is obviously a way over the top stereotype but so what? It brings out some of the best humour of the film and shows the extremes of people's reactions to gay people. As much as I'd love a tasteful gay to bring up all these thought provoking points it would be a bit dull and more importantly far less funny.

I know that opinions are always split on movies, especially a movie that relies on shock tactics but I can't help but feel a little uncomfortable at the level of some people's criticism. The Navan cinema clip, (now a viral sensation, see it here) where a local cinema phone operator advises against seeing the film because of how offensive the movie is can be seen as the pinnacle. Many have pointed out how hilarious it is in a Father Ted manner but to me its pretty homophobic. Why isn't he compelled to make these comments on other films? And if people are complaining after seeing a film, so what? Certificates and indication of the content of a film are widely available these days. Its your responiblity to gauge what a film will be like, not the cinema. What gives this man right to go a tirade about this film? I doubt he would have done it about Borat. I'm not saying that if you don't like Bruno you are a homophobe but the level of uncomfortableness ( is that world?) people have for the film to me says more about how not used to gay ideas/sexuality then anything to do with good taste.

And REALLY any film that can have Paula Abdul talk about human rights while using a mexican labourer as a chair has to be a winner.

No comments:

Post a Comment