In Bruges (2008)
Running Time: 107 minutes
Directed by: Martin McDonagh
Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clemence Poesy
“I didn’t even know where Bruges f*cking was.” Pause. “It’s in Belgium.”
That is part of the beginning of the narration by Ray (Colin Farrell), a hit man from London, who was told by his boss, Harry Waters (Ralph Fiennes) to stay in Bruges for two weeks with his friend/partner, Ken (Brendan Gleeson) for further instructions. So, they take up the advice to sightsee around the Medieval city, which Ken appreciates, but Ray is too blinded by the mistake he made in his first job to enjoy the charms of the city. The story takes a turn when Ray meets Chloe (Clemence Poesy) who is part of a film crew, and Ken receives Harry’s instructions for his next job. Due to the circumstances, the line between black and white is no longer as clear as before…
So, what really hit me when the film started was the score by Carter Burwell, and again throughout the film, the music simply leaves an impression on you, and sets the tone of the scenes perfectly. Martin McDonagh not only directed the film well, but written it with such wit and quirkiness, that you just can’t help but crack up in laughter at the most unexpected moments. Mind you, it’s not just all laughs, there are also blood splattering moments, and gore that makes you wince away in disgust. And I think this is the combination that makes the movie charming and leaves an impression on its audiences. The editing was done quite brilliantly, leaving certain frames of the actors lingering on screen to make audiences ponder about it, or simply to set the mood of the situation. The other thing I wanted to point out is the acting from the three main actors – Farrell, Gleeson, and Fiennes. Though the screen time for Fiennes is much less, but he really made the best out of the opportunities given, and sends chills down your spine as he threatens both Ken and Ray in the film. Brendan Gleeson on the other hand, gave a solid performance as the loyal friend who appreciates the little things in the city, while Colin Farrell, surprised me, with his performance as a remorse and witty hit man. It’s not a surprise that they were both nominated for a Golden Globe for their performances.
All in all, if you do not mind a little bit of gore in a film, this movie is a must-watch. It’s funny, it’s thrilling, it’s sad… it just makes a perfect dark comedy. If you get the chance to watch this film, please do!
Rating: 8 out of 10.