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In Bruges (2008) R 107min

September 23rd, 2008 by Maxim · No Comments · 16,236 Views


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In Bruges (2008)In Bruges is Martin McDonagh’s (2006 Oscar winner for script for ”Six Shooter”) directorial debut, starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes.

The plot: At Christmas time two Irish hit men are hiding after they did a job that didn’t go as planned - they are sent by their employer Harry to Bruges, Belgium, to lie low. There they are supposed to await their next assignment. By the time Harry’s call finally comes, the views on life and death that the two held had been changed by the people they meet in Bruges – a dwarf-actor, Dutch prostitutes, tourists and locals.

The good: Ray is a perfect role for Colin Farrell who plays an cynical Irish asshole – perhaps he could nw stop pretending being someone else like he did in Alexander, Miami Vice or S.W.A.T., and just be an Irishman. His buddy Ken (Brendan Gleeson) is a romantic – a lovable bad guy. Great dialogs, interesting and original characters. Story with a lot of unexpected, almost unbelievable, hilarious twists. People acting like normal people, or normal people on drugs, without melodrama. Ralph Fiennes played the Crime Boss/thug/family man so well.

Ray killed an innocent bystander, a boy, on his last job, and he suffers from it tremendously, which makes him suicidal – one of the cynical aspects of the satire here – a suicidal hit-man. It’s noticeable how in the beginning of the movie when Ken and Ray visit the museum looking at medieval art, Ray sees “The Last Judgment” by Hieronymous Bosch. The theme of the last judgement is throughout the movie – they see the midget (American dwarf-actor shooting the dream sequence), some masked figures, and they have to wait for the final call for two weeks – as in purgatory, and in the end, “f**k, man, maybe this what Hell is – the entire rest of eternity spent in the f**king Bruges!”.

Nice background music by Carter Burwell – lyrical, but with slightly dark medieval Gothic undertones – a sort of music you hear in movies about vampires or Les Miserables or Great Expectations.

The bad: The movie is very very dark for a comedy and there’s almost no hope in this movie. Too dark. The only dim light in the movie is Marie (Thekla Reuten) – an 8-month pregnant inn-keeper. She represents the future and the hope that is so fragile.

Similar movies: (from the top of my head) Pulp Fiction, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Summary: a great dark comedy, showing that nice people can do horrible things, and that monsters are sometimes capable of decency.

Memorable quotes:

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 f**king Bruges? In a room like this? With you? No way.

Ray: Bruges is a shithole.
Ken: Bruges *is* not a shithole.
Ray: Bruges *is* a shithole.
Ken: Ray, we only just got off the f**king train! Could we reserve judgement on Bruges until we’ve seen the f**king place?

Ray: Bruges is a shithole. Even midgets have to take drugs to take it.

Ray: What’s Belgium famous for? Chocolate and child abuse. And they only invented chocolate to get to children.

Marie: [to Ray and Harry] Why don’t you both put your guns down, and go home?
Harry: Don’t be stupid. This is the shootout.

DVD features:

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Gag Reel (not too interesting)
  • When In Bruges (short documentary about making the movie)
  • Strange Bruges
  • A Boat Trip Around Bruges (a quick video tour of the canal)
  • F**king Bruges (a montage of all sequences with swearing)

The cast: Raymond – Colin Farrell | Ken – Brendan Gleeson | Harry Waters – Ralph Fiennes | Chloë - Clémence Poésy (Fleur Delacour in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”) | Yuri – Eric Godon | Priest – Ciarán Hinds | Jimmy – Jordan Prentice

The crew: Director – Martin McDonagh | Screenplay – Martin McDonagh | Producers - Jeff Abberley, Julia Blackman, Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin, Tessa Ross, Sarah Harvey | Original Music – Carter Burwell

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Rated 4/5 on Sep 23 2008
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Tags: Dark comedy · Thrillers/Suspense · UK

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