Sacha Baron Cohen's newest film Bruno is getting a lot of attention, and criticism and it hasn’t even been released yet. Cohen’s previous works include Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and Da Ali G Show. Cohen is infamous for going “undercover” as a character and interviewing unsuspecting politicians.
Bruno is a film about an Austrian homosexual reporter. The film is meant to be a satire and expose homophobia in America. Bruno (the main character, played by Cohen) is portrayed as a flamboyant, gay male; critics claim that this portrayal enforces stereotypes and harms the gay community.
I have yet to see the film, but the trailers seem to give good insight to the overall tone of the film. Admittedly, Cohen’s character is over the top, but isn’t that the idea? After Borat premiered, there didn’t seem to be nearly this amount of outrage at Cohen for portraying a “stereotypical” foreigner. I think that whether or not the film is stereotyping or satirizing it can encourage discussions about stereotypes, allowing people constructively criticize, dissect, and pull some good from the film.
I am excited to see the film when it is finally released in early July because of all the controversy and varying opinions; I think that it will be great springboard for discussions about the way in which media depicts sexual orientation.