MovieChat Forums > The Child (2005) Discussion > Bruno has a mental problem?

Bruno has a mental problem?

Right off the film, ya can see Bruno was somewhat. . .

Insecure 'bout the baby. . .

But I found it a bit unbelievable that he would sell him.

This is 'cause what he said to the chick. . .

It went somethin' like this. . .

Young Woman: Are you goin' to raise the baby yourselves?
Bruno: Of course.
Young Woman: You know there are people that buy babies to raise them. . .

Then the woman gives Bruno the card for those people and Bruno immediately throws it on the floor. She then says...

"Don't throw it away. Keep it with you."

He then picks it up and goes his way. . .

Then he ends up sellin' the baby. His excuse is that they could make another.

Come on. . .

If he said some crap like. . .

"It would get a better life with a family with money."

Maybe I wouldn't think he's as mental as I do now. So do ya guys think he had some mental prob.? That little scene of him initially rejectin' sellin' the baby makes me think so. . .

Unless. . .

He wasn't just lyin' to the cops. . .

Maybe he really thinks it's someone elses baby. . .

(Though I don't remember the film givin' any evidence of infidelity or drug addiction)


I don't think he has a mental problem...

The explaination for his behaviour might be that the movie-title isn't necessarily a reference to the baby...


Who do you blieve the title is making a reference to? Personally i believe it to be his young accomplice in the robberies... any thoughts?


Well, Bruno, obviously....



I suppose at the beginning, when we'd only met Sonia and Jimmy, the thought that Jimmy was "the child" may have been briefly considered. But as soon as I was introduced to Bruno, of course he was the titular character. How else would the film make any sense?


Its fairly obvious that the title refers to Bruno and that he effectively 'matures' during his behavior in taking care of Steve in the water and returning the scooter. The Bruno at the start of the film certainly wouldn't have behaved that way.


It was a SIM-card he threw away, so the police couldn´t link them (Bruno and the young woman) together and arrest them for selling and buying stolen goods, so no, I don´t think Bruno was mental, just immature...



I would say he has a personality disorder. He is very selfish and he completely lacks empathy. I have worked with personality disorders so I recognize the signs. That he didn't understand what he had done wrong when selling the baby shows that there is obviously something missing in him. His comment "but I thought we could just make another one" is horrendous! But it shows that he has a serious problem.



I do think that bruno had a mental illness of some sort. As the original poster said, there was no logical reason why he sold the baby, he had no reason to sell the baby. He had money for living, he seemed to actually love the mother of the child and he actually seemed quite happy with his life. I don't know if he cared if he was happy or not, he seemed so out of it. I don't think he even had planned the selling the baby, he just thought "what the hell" and did it.

As I watched the film, it seemed more like a character piece of a slightly ill mental patient who, in my opinion, lacked character. He wasn't likeable nor hateble, he was just a guy who did a really stupid thing without even realizing what he's doing. And I just didn't care about him at all. I cared about the baby and I cared about the mother, but I didn't care about bruno at all. So the rest of the movie was plain dull for me. There was a nice tone to the movie so that kept me watching, or I could say waiting for something to happen to give this movie a reason to exist. And nothing happened.


I don't think Bruno has a mental problem... maybe a mental disorder, but when you consider how many of those things are around, we probably all have at least one kind, lol. I believe Bruno was simply immature. Think of it this way, how would he have got to the stage he was in in the first place (ie having to steal to make a living?) I don't know all that much about Belgium's welfare system, but I'm pretty sure that if you're living on the streets like that, you must have made some bad decisions when you were younger (the fact that he doesn't live with his mother seems to indicate that she might have kicked him out). So really, his attitude towards the baby is simply immature. He hears that people are willing to give him money that he needs for the baby, a baby he doesn't seem all that keen on at any point during the film anyway. I'd say the fact that he's not really ready to be a father can be inferred also from his character. Also notice the scenes in the first half when Bruno and Sonia are playing with each other - obviously they are still very much in a 'young' love, and Bruno perhaps still wants Sonia all to himself, like a child. I think all this is suggested by the title really, as others have said.


"As the original poster said, there was no logical reason why he sold the baby, he had no reason to sell the baby. "

yes, there is a very logical reason: $$$$$$

he wants money. he also 'stole' her flat by subletting it without telling her and
took the money, then spent it very foolishly.

the child is bruno. he is very immature. many children are like this. they are very selfish, and don't understand the consequences of their actions.

in the US, the phrase is "babies making babies".

bruno does not have to have a mental illness to behave the way he does.

if it was mental illness only, he would very likely NOT take care of his young accomplice and take the scooter back, and turn himself in.

bruno does begin to mature by taking responsibility for screwing up his, and other people's lives.

>> An armadillo could be a
better president than Bush. <<


I don't think Bruno has any mental problems pathologically, just that there are parts of his intellect that never matured, because they were not stimulated. I think he was never taught the full range of normal social behavior, the significance of relationships, or any social bonds, including familial ones. To him, his baby is just another creature that can be used for survival. "We'll have another one" he tells his girlfriend, like little Jimmy was a pet. He has no resentment for the baby, he's just not attcahed to him, so he does the only thing he knows to do to survive: sell him. Bruno acts like someone who probably never experienced parental love or any form of bonding with his parents or anyone else. Do not be fooled by the fact that he can read, drive a car and has a cell phone. Bruno is the typical street child: raised in a rather institutional environment, without any type of affection, until the age of 18, then left to fend for himself. He might have been given food, clothing, shelter and basic schooling as a child, but not taught many social skills or how to develop a normal emotional self. He survived by trading everything he could, thinking people are just means to an end. Even his love for Sonia, although strong, is primitive and childish - it's based on instincts, not intellectual communication, and it's expressed rather rudimantarily through puppy-like play and sexual intercourse. If you noticed, he has no family and no friends, just Sonia - his mate, but she means the world to him. In spite of his actions, it's clear Bruno doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He's always gentle with Sonia, even when she refuses to open the door, leaving him hungry and with no place to go (there are enough "civilized" guys who would have broken in that door instead of seeking shelter in a box under a bridge). When his kid partner gets caught, Bruno returns the money and admits responsibilty for both of them.

Many of us have seen people like Bruno in the large cities of the world. They grow up like weeds, never nurtured by anyone, never taught how to love, how to understand themselves, develop social relationships, see life as more than just mindless survival. They're resented by "civilized" people for their "refusal to take responsibility" or "being a burden on society", etc. Like blaming a blind for stepping on one's toe...

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
Oscar Wilde



I just saw this movie today, and I also understood that "The child" isn't Bruno's son, but Bruno himself.

He WAS lying to the cops; he knew the child was his. But then, if you check the brief scene where Bruno talks to his mother, you can just guess the total lack of affection and communication between those two. Then how can you blame him for what he did? The main point about Bruno is that he isn't a bad guy. He's just the result of all the things he's gone through. We can't judge him according to our morals, because his morals and his standards are very different. I don't think he has a mental problem. The guy's just inmature, because he's been deprived. He lacks empathy and commitment, which, at any degree, are things that you would expect from any grown up person.

*EDIT* Er... I don't know if I made myself clear. I'm sorry, my english really sucks.


I don't see anything wrong with your english....I understood what you meant....why worry?



I agree about some of your points, but of course you can blame Bruno for what he did. He's obviously not a mean person, but I completely understood Sonia's reaction to his actions. It's unclear what happened in his strained relationship with his mother, but he could also be to blame for that problem. We don't know for sure. His upbringing and surroundings haven't helped him become a better person, but there needs to be some responsibility on his part, which he does achieve by the end of the movie.