A few of us went to a screening of Bruno last week. At one point, the Austrian presenter of “Funkyzeit” pitches a new show to a group of American TV producers. During Bruno’s video pitch, he presents a screen-sized male member swinging back and forth at us for perhaps ten seconds. We were sat in the third row and it was a large screen…
This was not the most explicit thing in Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest show. But it was the point that something occurred to me. It seems almost inevitable that this will be the last of Sacha Baron Cohen’s mockumentary character-based releases. There’s really nowhere left for him to go.
There must have been long discussions at the regulatory authority about whether to let some of the scenes through. It really does stretch the 18 certificate to its limits. Whatever you do, do not take your Mum.
Besides the fact that Baron Cohen will not be able to ramp up the extremity next time round (for legal reasons), Bruno is the last character from Da Ali G Show, during which all three of his blockbuster film characters were created.
Cohen has a brilliant mechanism for success that completely shields him from the attention that a film star deals with. Interviews with Baron Cohen out of character are rare. During the in-character interviews, journalists have to submit questions so that they can be alligned with Cohen’s auto-cue answers. He’s found a brilliant mechanism for enjoying the success of fame whilst avoiding all the attention.
These films don’t have a long shelf-life. They shock and amaze everyone then are easily forgotten. The impression I get is that this set-up suits Baron Cohen just fine. He’s a star that will successfully avoid stardom. Thanks Ali, Borat and Bruno. You’ve been fun!