In Bruges

6 02 2008

In Bruges was not the typical mainstream crime comedy I expected. The film surpassed, by far, anything I expected of it. Not only was it hysterically funny, it was also very dark and emotional, touching on subjects such as murder and suicide. In 2004 Martin McDonagh wrote and directed a short called Six Shooter that was well recieved for its over the top dark humor and witty script. In Bruges displays that this success was not just a fluke.

Colin Farrell, is finally given a chance to act in this one. In what I think is one of his greatest performances, he plays Ray, a London hitman who is sent to hide out in the Belgian city of Bruges after a horribly botched job. As his accompanying mentor and partner, Ken, Brendan Gleason gives a fantastic performance as usual. The first act of the film is almost entirely driven by quick, witty back and forth dialogue between Ray and Ken, in which Ray makes it clear that he is not happy to be in the medieval city of Bruges and Ken assaults him with historic facts about the city. Ray is finally given some relief when he meets Chloë on the set of an art film. Chloë played by French actress Clémence Poésy may have some dark secrets of her own. The depth of insight that we are given into the characters early on in the film sets us up for an emotional ride as the story begins to twist and turn its way into a full blown action film. These twists and turns are set in to motion when Ken and Ray recieve an expletive ridden telegram from their boss, Harry, played by the fantastic Ralph Fiennes, and an equally hilarious and vulgar phone conversation between Ken and Harry.

Farrell is given a lot room to work in this film, he’s given room to not only play Ray as the complaining loudmouth we’re introduced to, but a real human, frought with real human grief and human emotion over is actions in the recent past. We see that the character is human as he tries to cover his grief by complaing and chasing women.

For fans of the gangster comedies of Guy Ritchie or the dialogue heavy and violent Tarantino crime movies, this is a must see. With one of the most original approaches to the genre I have seen in a long time, Martin McDonagh has presented an instant classic in my mind. I will see it again when the opportunity presents itself, and I reccomend the same for anyone else.

Originally posted here.

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