Over at the Curator, Alisa Harris tries to figure out why she was revulsed more by Bruno than by other R-rated “offensive” comedies:

The difference is that while those other movies humanize the world’s weirdos, Sacha Baron Cohen’s humor dehumanizes people – and not just a “type” of person but a real person who sits down trusting that the interviewer will show him as he is. Cohen doesn’t just expose prejudice but manipulates it, twisting real three-dimensional people into ugly, one-dimensional caricatures. Take the climactic scene, where he whips people up into a gleeful hatred and then shoves what they hate in their faces, as the camera zooms in on every shade of horror. Of course the prejudice and the hate is already there, and yes, it’s ugly. But the way he teases it out of people – with no thought to their humanity and no grace for their weaknesses – dehumanizes them.

via The Curator | The Thing About Bruno.


1 Comment

  1. Of course the prejudice and the hate is already there, and yes, it’s ugly. But the way he teases it out of people – with no thought to their humanity and no grace for their weaknesses – dehumanizes them.

    This isn’t dehumanization. Quite the opposite, really.

    And despite complaints that these kinds of tactics aren’t fair (kind of like police women posing as hookers and setting honey traps), there are definitely lessons to be learned from them. For one (1), people need to recognize the evil that lurks within themselves and if someone can drum it up with something as easy as Peer Pressure (something we’re expected to be able to resist by the time we hit the seventh grade), then we should be grateful for the revelation. For two (2), these quote-unquote victims are clearly not Other People. They are Us. Until we’re willing to recognize that and learn from Our mistakes, we will continue to harbour evil and continue to fall at the slightest provocation.

Comments are now closed for this article.