Sacha Baron Cohen: A Chaplin for Our Times?

Sacha Baron Cohen: A Chaplin for Our Times?

I don’t like to tout Hollywood movies on my “indie” blog, but admittedly, I was among the throngs to attend “Brüno” over the weekend. Offensive? Maybe. Shocking? A little. A brilliant display of physical comedy? Absolutely. Also rare for me is to quote Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers on my blog, but hey, I can’t help but agree with this summation: “To watch Baron Cohen mime a blow job from first suck to sperm spray is enough to have Marcel Marceau applauding from the grave.” My own comparison might be Charlie Chaplin: His “bread-roll dance” (see below) came to mind after witnessing Cohen pantomime his oral devotion to his dearly departed Milli Vanilli lover, but there’s probably a dozen other scenes from Chaplin’s ouevre that paved the way for Cohen’s hijinks. What was Cohen’s velcro-suit fashion-disaster but yet another comtemporary riff on the pratfalls of yesteryear. Choose your own silent comedy classic moment: Whatever it is, Cohen has created an X-rated moden equivalent that is doubly ridiculous, but no doubt equally hilarious in its execution.

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Chaplin? For Tree’s sake man get a damn grip.

Roberto Quezada-Dardon

I think Cohen is probably better compared to Andy Kauffman, no?

Stacy Yip

I just saw Bruno on Saturday, and until reading your blog I didn’t think to compare him to silent slapstick comedy. I am a big fan of physical comedy and have even interned at the SF Silent Film Festival because I love it so much. I agree, his mime of doing a blow job and the chaos he creates physically in so many scenes was hilarious and very comparable to silent comedies.

I admire his risks and how he pushes his comedy to comment on American society and makes the audience see things that are usually hidden and not discussed.

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