Director Larry Charles’ Bruno continues the mad escapades we expect from guerilla comic Sasha Baron Cohen. It is the most pointed attack on homophobia ever produced. With a talking penis that gyrates, multiple dildos and even a session of anal bleaching we follow Bruno (Baron Cohen) the gay fashionista as he seeks fame and fortune in America after being “Schwarz (black) listed” in his home country of Austria.
Bruno’s quest is movie stardom and he goes about seeking it in the most idiotic manner possible. He is an incendiary comedian whose outrageous antics are so over-the –top that they are designed to challenge the moral sensibility of anyone he encounters. His attempt to manipulate the conservative politician Ron Paul into participating in a gay sex tape makes for one exasperated politician. His talk- show pilot featuring gay gyrations generated so much consternation and disbelief from a middle –class focus group that several people stormed out of the screening room. Bruno’s participation on the Richard Bey Show causes the audience to squirm as he shows off his adopted African baby, “O.J”, in a baby shirt spelling GAYBY. He tells the audience he bought the baby in a trade for a deluxe I-Pod.
Beneath all these gags is the realization that gay behavior in 21st Century America is still not acceptable to many people. Once again, Sasha Baron Cohen’s undeniably funny charades work because of the reactions of these ordinary folks. Whether staged or real, there is little doubt that Sasha Baron Cohen is the Chaplin and Buster Keaton of our time.