Friday, July 24, 2009


It was wryly noted last evening that a major difference exists between the Guildhall Arts Centre cinema and the Cineworld Multiplex near the Docks. Yes, the screens are larger at the Cineworld but you can’t take a steamin’ mug of tea or a frothin’ pint of Guinness in with you like at the Guildhall. And the seats are more comfortable at Cineworld too. But we knew that already. It dawned on me that at the Guildhall the whole audience remains seated at the end of the film and reverentially views the credits, nodding unselfconsciously and sagely on learning the name of the best boy or gaffer; at the Cineworld, the whole ruddy auditorium is emptying within a second of the merest hint of an end credit. I found this a fairly interesting sociological observation and I reckon it indicates two very separate film-going groups.

Anyway, The Coles were out watching Brüno last evening. I must admit I laughed like a drain throughout this feature which deserves every year of its 18 certificate. A bit like its star Sacha Baron Cohen’s previous vehicle, Borat, this film is essentially a series of set-pieces woven together into a loose narrative, in this case a gay Austian fashionista’s feckless attempts to seek fame and fortune in Los Angeles and other varied parts of the United States and, indeed, the wider world. It’s a churlish criticism to suggest that Baron Cohen seeks easy targets but it proves all-too-easy for the film-makers to discover rabid homophobia within redneck hunting groups, cage fighting fans, the fundamentalist Christian community and the military. This is of no real matter. The situations conjured up are so clever, so painfully inventive and, at times, so dangerous and risky that to censure the producers for setting traps for only the most gullible and stupid is difficult to justify. Importantly for a comedy, Brüno, is very, very funny; the character’s nuances, both physical and vocal, are beautifully observed, the dialogue, often adlibbed, is exquisite while the ideas which bombard the viewer (extremely graphically at times) are first class and consistently hilarious. Basically, if you want to vigorously express amusement and, simultaneously, witness a bunch of barely evolved dolts looking pitifully dim-witted then this film might be for you.

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