This review was written by our Austrian correspondent, Professor007
BRÜNO – In your face, but very funny
Arguably, what made Borat so good was not so much the slapstick-like scenes of him mincing around in mankinis or pooing on a sidewalk in Manhattan, but the way in which he managed to bring out the dark sides of otherwise normal-seeming people: the interviewee responding that he would have no problem with Borat shooting jews; the car salesman advising on the minimum speed to run over gypsies in a Hummer; or a crowd cheering when Borat proclaims that George Bush may drink the blood of every man, woman, and child in Iraq. Brϋno, a gay Austrian reporter for fashion show Funkyzeit, has made himself “Aus” of the Viennese fashion circles after causing havoc during a fashion show and leaves his country in order to seek fame in the United States, accompanied solely by his former assistant’s assistant, Lutz. He starts his quest in LA where he consecutively tries and fails to become a film star, a celebrity talk show host and a porn star, in-between hopping rather randomly from Kansas to Alabama with a short detour to the Middle East and Africa, in a rather haphazard storyline. In terms of wit and sarcasm, Brϋno doesn’t quite match his Kazakh predecessor. Granted, there is the scene where a human rights activist sits down on a Mexican worker doubling as a chair, explaining how much she loves to help suppressed people; and the Alabama priest trying to cure Brϋno from his homosexuality. However, most of the scenes live from their grotesqueness, constantly bordering on the ethically unacceptable and culminating in the homoerotic showdown between Lutz and Brϋno in a fighting cage. Which is not to say it’s any less enjoyable to see: if you enjoy (penis) in-your-face humour, you will, like me, walk out of the movie with your belly aching from laughter.
Finally, what does the Austrian in me have to say? Apart from me simply enjoying an occasional evening of crass humour, I certainly also went to be prepared for the inevitable ridicule I would have to suffer as an Austrian following Brϋno’s release. I’m not quite sure yet whether I should be relieved or disappointed, but there’s surprisingly little on the theme of my homeland, so I hope it will cause a little less upheaval in Austria than Borat did in the Kazakhstan.
BRUNO is on release in Australia, Belgium, Iceland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the UK and USA. It opens next weekend in France and Russia and on July 31st in Brazil. It opens on August 6th in the Czech Republic; on August 14th in Turkey; on August 20th in Singapore; on September 25th in Mexico; on October 15th in Argentina and on October 23rd in Italy.