The Movie Buffer

Saturday, July 05, 2008

DVD review: In Bruges


I am one happy spoiler


Bruges is in Belgium, it’s the best preserved medieval city in Belgium, and this is where we meet Ken and Ray, the hitmen. They’re in Bruges awaiting a phone call from their boss Harry, but they get sidetracked by a woman and her skin-head boyfriend, a dwarf movie star and seeing the many sights around town.

Out of context, this sounds like some kind of screwball comedy, and from the trailers, it looked like it was going to be a shoot ‘em up type film with little to no plot. But once the film gets going there is a distinct sense of calm and purpose.

The film is much more about the how the city effects the two hitmen, strengthening their friendship and causing a crisis of conscience. The writer-director of this film, Martin McDonagh, is a playwright who has clearly mastered the flair for dramatic and skillfully crafted a film that is, at times and all together, funny, human and bloody violent. There are some excellent shots of the town and it’s attractions, so if nothing else this is a great movie to watch if you’ve always wanted to see what medieval Belgium is like. 

The three main characters, Ken, Ray and Harry are played by Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes, respectively. Both Gleeson and Fiennes were built to play roles like this (Gleeson as the fatherly, veteran hitman; Fiennes as the mildly psychotic but highly principled mob boss). The image of Farrell pulling his sad puppy-dog face is literally burned into your retina because he pouts for nearly half the movie. This being said, Farrell does put up a good performance as the pouty hitman (We even start to believe that he isn’t such a bad guy). 

The crisis of conscience part of the film comes in the second act. After we’ve seen the two guys romp around the city, we finally get to what the point of the story is, the hit. Though it may not be what you think it is. 

In Bruges is a great film with some excellent performances from the stars aswell as the supporting cast, excellent cinematography and has one of those ambiguous endings that makes you think about it (I love this sort of ending). Though I had some preconceived notions about this film before picking it up, I was pleasantly surprised by what I got. Enjoy this film because it’s worth it.

Source: In Burges Trailer


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