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Monday, November 29, 2010

You Will Find Dark Delights 'In Bruges'

In Bruges = 5 out of 5
Ken: You have to be the worst tourist of all time.
Ray: Well, if I'd grown up on a farm and was retarded, Bruges might impress me, but I didn't, so it doesn't.
A hit man comedy set in the most well-preserved medieval city in Belgium, Bruges...a shit hole...as referred to by the characters...frequently.  This is a fantastic film that is both darkly funny and very well done as a character drama.  The central performances are all wonderful and the filmmaking present here is fantastic, establishing a great look for the city of Bruges.  Very well made film that gets better and better with repeated viewings.

Ray: I'm not being funny. We can't stay here.
Ken: We have to stay here until he rings.
Ray: Well what if he doesn't ring for two weeks?
Ken: Then we stay here for two weeks.
Ray: For two weeks? In fucking Bruges? In a room like this? With you? No way.
Colin Farrell (in Irish mode, which I prefer, much more natural) stars as Ray, a hit man who has gone through an unfortunate bit of collateral damage and has been told to hide out in Bruges for a couple weeks to lie low.  He is joined by Ken, played by the always fun supporting actor Brendan Gleeson. Together they look at the sights, although Ken enjoys this much more than Ray.  During this time, they are supposed to be waiting for a call from their boss Harry, played by a very sinister looking Ralph Fiennes, who will supply them with further instructions.  Between the sightseeing and waiting, Ray and Ken engage in plenty of discussions about how they are opposites on views of the city, as well as some of their basic life views.  During his time, Ray also encounters a film being made where the two meet a little person with his own quirks, along a lovely local girl (Clemence Poesy) for Ray to hookup with.



Ray: One gay beer for my gay friend, one normal beer for me because I am normal.
This all would make the movie sound like a rapid pace, comic thriller type, akin to a movie from Guy Ritchie or even Tarantino. However, it is not. The movie moves along at a slower pace and is does so while acknowledging the beauty of the city of Bruges.  While beign very, very funny in places, the film takes itself seriously and deals with real issues the characters face, despite being based around character who are in the assassination business.

Ray: Maybe that's what hell is, an entire eternity spent in fucking Bruges.

There are a lot of very funny moments, but the seriousness does add to this movie. Farrell's character is not just a spark plug, he is actually much deeper due to his reason for being in the city to begin with. This becomes obvious once it is revealed what he has done. Gleeson is also very good in his role, who eventually is put to a point of choice that he has to make. Fiennes almost upsets this sort of tone that goes with the movie, but is such a great character in himself that it works out even better.  What is certainly admirable about how these characters are written comes from the basic principles that they all follow.  The way they share pieces of their identities and how these moments come into play are handled very well for the film.
Ken: Harry, let's face it. You've always been a cunt. The only thing that's gonna change, is that you're gonna be an even bigger cunt. Maybe have some more cunt kids.
Harry: You fuckin' retract that bit about my cunt fucking kids!
Ken: I retract that bit about your cunt fucking kids.
Harry: Insulting my fucking kids?! That's goin' overboard man!
Ken: I retracted it, didn't I?
There are also plenty of dark moments throughout. A number of sequences definitely counter the humor with the film, once again showing its delicate balance between its fun dialogue and actualities of these situations that effect the characters.  The end, in particular, sends the film off on the right kind of note, which although dark, actually put a satisfying smile on my face.


There are a number of laughs and twists, which make this an enjoyable movie aided by a good cast, nice scenery, a moody soundtrack, and strong writing combining both dark humor and suitable drama.  Great film.
[In the midst of smashing his phone to pieces]
Harry's Wife: It's an inanimate fucking object.
Harry: Your an inanimate fucking object!
Note: After seeing this film, following the credits, our theater was treated to the short film that won this director, Martin McDonagh, the Academy Award for best Short Length Feature. It is entitled 'Six Shooter' and also stars Brendan Gleeson. It is a similarly dark movie, featuring a number of characters on a train in Ireland, who go through a strange and dark experience, worth a watch.

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