“ Genre: Action & Adventure / Theatrical Release: 2008 / Director: Martin McDonagh / Actors: Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, Brendan Gleeson, Zeljko Ivanek, Jordan Prentice ... / DVD released 2008-06-24 at Universal Studios / Features of the DVD: AC-3, Colour, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, PAL „
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'In Bruges' is a film which has a habit of splitting opinion; it is so different, so hard to categorise and label and so unique in terms of its humour that it deserves to be reviewed, for better or for worse. Avoiding spoilers, the dark humour, crazy plot lines and very human elements, which other films lose with their Hollywood gloss, make this film very endearing. For those who don't laugh at slapstick humour, but have themselves a more dry and sharp type of humour, this film will perfectly cater for those tastes and with the fast paced action elements, the film manages to touch upon various themes and keep the audience interested and engaged throughout. If you are considering buying this film, to view for the first time or for the twenty-second, I can endorse both; it is definitely worth the price tag to find such a great film and worth having it in your collection to watch again and again with your friends.
Well, what a surprise....as per usual, I am going to have to buck the trend and confess that, unlike the majority of other people who have already reviewed this, I thought this film was dreadful. Absolutely dire. A dark comedy...? I struggled to even crack a smile.
A pair of hitmen are sent to hide out in Bruges after one of them messes up and kills a kid in a church. Initially they just think they are there to lay low for a while but then Brendan Gleeson (who will you know from the Harry Potter films if nothing else) begins to suspect that they might be there on another job. That is until he discovers that only HE is on another job. His mission, whether he chooses to accept it, is to take out his partner, Colin Farrell; a man trying to cope with the enormous sense of guilt over what he has done the only way he knows how. With lots of drink and a some very attractive young ladies.
Throw in an angry dwarf/midget/small person, scenes of copious drug taking and some nice scenery and that's about it. Laughs are few and far between and it is fair to say that the plot moves along at a snail place. One amusing moment comes when a fat American family of tourists attempt to head towards a church tower that Brendan Gleeson is visiting. Farrell just turns around and asks "are you sure you want to go up there?" leading to him being chased round the square by the fat family when he explains what he is implying. Seconds later, Gleeson comes back down and, seeing the family headed towards the tower, pretty much asks the same thing.
And that is about the funniest moment. (Cue for dramatic pause...)
I'd heard fairly good things about this film but, in hindsight, I think they must have been watching a different film! This review shows why you should never listen to anyone else's opinion and make your own mind up because I was VERY disappointed!
Colin Farrell comments, at one stage that he wonders if hell is having to stay in Bruges. No Colin, hell is having to watch this film!
After viewing this film, i was left with one question. Why isnt this film better known?
In Bruges, a film about two hitmen set in, you guessed it... Bruges. It is a fantasically funny comedy, with a gripping plot. The film follows two hitman, who think they are lying low in Bruges, after their last job, but unknown to them their boss has plans for them. A lot of the comedy of the film is centred around the two characters contrasting opinions towards the city of bruge, and also their contrasting outlook on life. The film is well written, and you instantly warm to the two men, and forget all about the sinister nature of their job, while the two men struggle to deal with their past. The film has some fantastic scenes, that lend themselves to the city of Bruges, with the bell tower scene becoming famous with fans of 'In Bruges.' The film has superb diolouge, but those offended by bad language should avoid this film at all costs. Like all good films, this film has a fantastic ending, with plenty of twists and turns. ' In Bruges' is more than just a comedy, its a enthralling story with a deeper undertone. If you are ever bored, watch 'In Bruges' , it wont disappoint.
Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, Brendan Gleeson.
run time:107 mins
* Also posted this on ciao under the username pie12345
I found this film an unexpectedly dark little delight. Set in the gorgeous Belgium town of Bruges it contrasts this beauty with the ignorance of some of the main protagonists. What seemingly starts out as a quirky deadpan comedy soon sees a
malevolent denouement into dark chaos.
After Ray (Colin Farrell) messes up a hit he flees to Bruges with fellow London-based Irish buddy Ken (Brendan Gleeson). The third player in all this is Harry, the Michael Caine soundalike, who is the pair's criminal overlord. Harry is played with menacing aplomb by Ralph Fiennes, a surprising departure from his normal roles but one which richly rewards.
During Ray's hit on a priest he also killed a child in the process. This is where Harry's dubious moral stance comes into play. Despite the hypocrisy of his own criminal background he still sees this act as unforgiveable and seeks vengeance or rather the restoration of 'honour' by having Ray taken out. An unbearable dilemma is dropped in Ken's lap as Harry asks him to carry out Ray's execution. Harry Waters is not a man to meddle with.Ken therefore sets out, with extreme reluctance, to carry out his assignment only to find his friend sat in the park with a gun to his own head. Ths sight paradoxically sees Ken scampering over to disarm and save Ray from apparent suicide. The latter attests that he was never going to kill himself. Despite the fact that Ken could have had the perfect get out clause, in that he could have let Ray kill himself, he decides on a massive sacrifice. He rings Harry in London to tell him, in no uncertain terms that he has not killed Ray. This naturally endangers both of them but Ken selflessly packs his friend on a train out of Bruges.
Harry's misguided but unshakeable sense of principle sees him making an immediate beeline for Bruges. Meanwhile Ray's escape plan is thwarted when he is identified on the train by a couple of Canadian tourists, whom he had mistaken for Americans. They had recently fallen verbal and physical victim to his drunken xenophobic rants and quick temper in a restaurant the previous evening.
Of course Harry's arrival in the 'Venice of the North' makes for an intruiging yet surprising ending.
The humour in the film chiefly stems from Ray's ignorance where Farrell displays a good degree of comic timing. He frequently refers to Bruges as a s***-hole and the Belgium beer as 'gay'. Given his general outlook and parlance I would guess that 'gay' in this context means weak. Well, first of all I doubt there is a more beautiful city in northern Europe than Bruges and Belgium beer is famously amongst the best, and most potent, in the world! He strays even further from the path of political correctness by becoming weirdly fascinated by Jimmy, a dwarf, on a film set in the city,whom he annoyingly calls a midget (historic city, canals and a dwarf - maybe an inverted nod to Don't Look Now).You may think that this outrageous outlook sits too easily with Farrell's own hell-raising reputation, and indeed it does. But he also demonstrates what a very good actor he is in more surprising ways. The lasting emotional torment he goes through in remembering the child's killing is surely a greater punishment that Walker could ever dish out. Although the act was unspeakable you are overwhelmingly convinced of his contrition and regret.
Ray even finds time for love interest in the form of Chloe, a drug dealer, which further evidences a more tender, compassionate side to him.
Gleeson is commendable as his more cultured straight man, but the real acting performance of the film is arguably that of Fiennes' Harry Walker. Seldom have I seen such a display of charm and calm, unnerving evil.Yet even he somehow imparts a good degree of humour, particularly during his telephone conversation with Ken describing Bruges' lovely cobbled streets and canals, while in the same breath assigning him a hit!
The other real star of the film is glorious Bruges itself, which will no doubt have city- break lovers scampering over there for the scenery and 'gay' beer!
CAST AND CREDITS
Cast (in credits order)
Elizabeth Berrington ... Natalie
Rudy Blomme ... Ticket Seller
Olivier Bonjour ... Film Director
Mark Donovan ... Overweight Man
Ann Elsley ... Overweight Woman #2
Colin Farrell ... Ray
Jean-Marc Favorin ... Policeman
Ralph Fiennes ... Harry Waters
Brendan Gleeson ... Ken
Eric Godon ... Yuri
Zeljko Ivanek ... Canadian Guy
Sachi Kimura ... Imamoto
Anna Madeley ... Denise
Louis Nummy ... Harry's child #3
Clémence Poésy ... Chloë Villette
Jordan Prentice ... Jimmy
Jérémie Renier ... Eirik
Thekla Reuten ... Marie
Theo Stevenson ... Boy in Church
Inez Stinton ... Kelli
Emily Thorling ... Overweight Woman
Angel Witney ... Harry's child #2
Bonnie Witney ... Harry's child #1
Ran Yaniv ... Barman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Susan Ateh ... Ken's Wife (uncredited)
Michael Bennett ... Belgian Policeman (uncredited)
Stephanie Carey ... Canadian Girl (uncredited)
Jamie Edgell ... Boat Driver (uncredited)
Ciarán Hinds ... Priest (uncredited)
Robbie Kay ... Young Harry (uncredited)
Jeff Abberley .... executive producer
Julia Blackman .... executive producer
Graham Broadbent .... producer
Peter Czernin .... producer
Sarah Harvey .... co-producer
Tessa Ross .... executive producer
Ronaldo Vasconcellos .... line producer
Original Music by
I didn't hear anything about this film until it turned up on DVD, I'm not even sure if it got a run on at the cinema. This film is very good, I love the dark humour and there are some truly funny moments where you can't help but laugh even though you probably shouldn't.
The cast is brilliant, I couldn't imagine anyone else playing the parts, and that is a sign of perfect casting. I think the contrast between what they do (hit men) and where they are (Bruges) and the fact one wants to sight see and the other just wants to leave just makes this film work on so many comedic levels.
I'm not usually a fan of films which are set in Europe because they always end up falling into a habit of getting caught up in stereo types about the way people live, but that is done on purpose here to poke fun, so its alright.
The films on a single disc with extras such as gag reel, featurettes on location and deleted scenes. For a surprisingly good film that you may not of heard of get this film.
This British film was a bit of a sleeper hit when first released. Starring Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell as two Irish Hitmen sent to Bruges to hide out after a job goes horribly wrong.
The film follows Ken (Gleeson) and Ray (Farrell) as they are asked to hide out in Brugges by Harry Walters (Ralph Fiennes) a proper gangster after a hit goes horribly wrong.
Whilst they lie low, Ken and Ray muse on the city they are hiding in, Ken views it as stunning and filled with history, whilst the younger, dumber Ray is bored witless and gets into endless scrapes including an amusing one with an obese American.
As the film develops we discover that there are further reasons for the pair hiding out in Bruges and it becomes a question of ethics and hope, as the film descends into violence and recrimination.
Colin Farrell ... Ray
Jean-Marc Favorin ... Policeman
Ralph Fiennes ... Harry Waters
Brendan Gleeson ... Ken
Eric Godon ... Yuri
Zeljko Ivanek ... Canadian Guy
Sachi Kimura ... Imamoto
Anna Madeley ... Denise
Louis Nummy ... Harry's child #3
Clémence Poésy ... Chloë Villette
I loved this film, its written by the acclaimed Playwright Martin McDonaugh and you can see this in the superior script, the lines for Gleeson and Farrell are excellent and this is a smart, intelligent independent film.
Gleeson is excellent as Ken, an experienced hitman who knows the score but has a conscience, he plays his role perfectly as a man who is cultured and thoughtful but able to switch to merciless killer in an instant. Farrell is excellent as the rude, abraisive and slightly stupid Ray, he has a lot of good lines and portrays a good mix of anger, ineptitude and vulnerability. Farrell is amusing and his scrapes with obese Americans, racist drug abusing dwarfs and the Belgian criminal underbelly are hilarious.
Ralph Fiennes is awesome as Harry a gangster with a silly voice and a real love for Bruges, he is the catalyst for an awful chain of events and his swearing may offend some but his character works perfectly in this charmingly offensive film.
Bruges is stunning and utterly beautiful as we follow the leads around the city, the canals, castles and gothic ruins look amazing and it has made me really want to visit.
I enjoyed the film no end, i loved the dialogue, the location was wonderful and the 3 main actors are brilliant, the guy who plays the racist dwarf was amusing and the other support actors are pretty good.
This is a sleeper hit which I would really recommend, it doesn't have a huge budget but it is one of the better comedy dramas i've seen in a few years and is the best Farrell film i've seen since Phone Booth.
This DVD is packed with Extras and it is pretty varied too with comedy, out takes, interviews and even a fairly interesting travelogue.
When in Bruges: This is a cool featurette with interviews and a good idea of how much fun the film was to make.
Strange Bruges is the stars of the film talking about what they like/don't like about Bruges, this section is a bit more hit and miss.
F***ing Bruges is a selection of some of the best swearing from the film, its not big and its not clever but it is very amusing and I really found it funny in a juvenile way.
A Boat Trip Around Bruges, shows us around this beautiful medieval city, which is stunning.
There are also some amusing jokes from the film
The extras are pretty good with loads of deleted scenes, which are very amusing, two extended scenes which are pretty long but do add meat to some of the story too, so are well worth checking out.
The DVD is available for £4.70 on Amazon and is well worth it with such a range of extras and such a good film.
A jewel of a film. It's clever, poignant, funny, sad, happy, tragic, violent and kind. This is just about the complete film.
This is the first full length film from playwright Martin McDonagh (writer of The Pillowman and The Beauty Queen of Lanane). It stars Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes who are all on top form.
Gleeson and Farrell play two hitman (an older hitman and a younger hitman) who are sent to Bruges after a botched hit in which Farrell kills a young boy. Fiennes plays the man who employs them. Whilst in Bruges, the two hitmen bond and spend time just enjoying life, something which they rarely get to do because of their work. Farrell begins to see that he can and should live a good life as he meets different characters in a variety of scenes from love interests to midgets making a film. Finally, Fiennes phones Gleeson to give him his next mission, and the film really kicks off with some good action.
This was Oscar nominated for its screenplay, and it really should have won it. It genuinely has a lot of power, showing the world for what it is, and what it can be depending on the choices made at the time, and the actions taken. You can feel a lot of emotions during this film because of its dialogue. there are some genuinely funny one liners (the midget's speech on war), there are some moments of tragedy (the death of the little boy) and some cringe-inducing moment (the Vietnam speech in the restaurant).
Be warned though, that this is a dark film and has some very black moments in it, so it's not a film you can watch when you're unhappy. It'll make you feel worse.
I think this is one of the best drama/thrillers or recent times, because it has so much to offer from action through to emotion. Very deep and at times thought provoking, this is superb.
Ray and Colin are hit men and they have been sent away to Bruges by their crime boss Harry to lie low. We soon learn that Ray made the mistake on his first ever job and when he killed the Priest he was asked to kill he also ended up shooting a small boy. Ray and Colin are awaiting a call from Harry to tell them what they have to do next but whilst waiting the men decide to go out and see Bruges.
Colin is enjoying the sightseeing but Ray is getting bored and wants some action and excitement. He gets his wish when he meets Chloe. Unfortunately Colin is not happy and he is made to stay in on his own to await the call from Harry.
Just what will Harry expect Colin to do as his next job and will Ray be able to keep a low profile?
After reading mixed reviews on this film I decided to give it a go as the storyline did sound quite good. I have to say that I was slightly disappointed by the film despite not really having many expectations from it. The storyline was quite good but I feel that so much more could have been done with it and the acting I would have to say was just average.
Colin Farrell played the role of Ray and I found he did manage to give a good performance but for me there seemed to be something missing and at times he did seem very wooden. I liked how we got flashbacks with his character to show us how he ended up in Bruges, this did at least give us a bit of depth to the character and let us understand slightly more as to why he went strange and moody at times. Brendan Gleeson played the role of Ken and for me he was a much better character than that of Ray. He seemed a bit more genuine and real. I liked how different the two men were and I think they did fit well together but for me there just seemed to be something lacking from the two characters.
We did have some good and different supporting actors and actress in the film who did manage to lighten the storyline slightly. They included the likes of a drug dealer, a midget and a group of angry tourists. I found that the diversity of them all gave us some good laughs and for me they were what made the film more watch able.
The film was set in Bruges, Belgium and I have to say the sights which we got to see really were lovely and I loved how they showed their way of life and how different it is to the big towns and cities in this country. Some of the old buildings really were a treat to see.
The special effects which were used in the film were good and they suited the film. They were not over the top or too spectacular which for me seemed to fit the average storyline and acting. The music was OK but not at all memorable but it was all appropriate for the places in which it was used. As I previously said there were some good funny moments in this film but they really were few and far between to actually call this film a comedy. The back of the DVD cover calls this a black comedy and I would slightly agree with this as some of the humour will not be to all tastes and may actually offend some viewers. Hubby did find it a lot more funnier than I did.
The DVD which I have does have some bonus features which include:-
When In Bruges
Deleted and Extended Scenes
A Boat Trip Around Bruges
As I am not a fan of bonus features the film was not really great I did not take the time to watch any of these, not even the gag reel so I am not able to make comment on them.
The running time of the film is 1 hour 42 minutes and I did find this was quite long enough, I found it did start to drag towards the end which was disappointing. The certificate is an 18 and I definitely agree with this as there is a lot of bloody violence, very string language and hard drug use. I managed to get this DVD for just under £5 from Amazon and I am so glad I did not pay any more for it as for me it was not worth a higher price.
Overall I have mixed feeling but I will sway with hubby and recommend this film as long as you don't expect too much and can stand the sick comedy, just enjoy the scenery which we are treated to.
In Bruges is a bit of a black comedy and was a sleeper hit when it was in the cinemas. It stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two hit men who are sent to Belgium and more specifically Bruges to keep a low profile after a job in England goes horribly wrong. Ralph Fiennes also stars in this as a Harry, a gangster and boss of Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson), this is an entirely out of character part for Ralph Fiennes and is good to see him play someone quite different from his normal repertoire.
Awaiting further instructions the two hit men mooch around Bruges, while Ken appreciates the architecture and sites immersing himself as a tourist, Ray sulks like a petulant child on a holiday they have no interest in. The only thing the 2 of them agree on is the quality of ale in the Belgian city. The film is a balance of comedy and drama and a good deal of hilarious political incorrectness and culminates in a dramatic ending when Harry decides the fates of Ray and Ken. Though I am not going to say anymore less I spoil it for anyone.
Bruges is one of the main characters of this film and plays it part beautifully, although the film does make you look at the city in a different way. I enjoyed this film it is a real dark comedy, which is fairly rare in these cinematic times. It is an original film with an entertaining and intelligent script by playwright Martin McDonagh, the stars are all excellent and play their characters very well, it is nice to see them out of their normal style roles. Definitely worth a watch.
This DVD can be purchased from Amazon for £2.98 with the rrp stated at £19.99.
I didn't watch this film as soon as most people did but finally decided to watch it because of the critical acclaim it garnered. 'In Bruges' is a british film written and directed by Martin McDonagh and stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two hit man.
Ray(Colin Farrell) and Ken(Brendan Gleeson) are two hitmen working under Harry(Ralph Fiennes) who orders them to hide in Bruges(a medieval city in Belgium) after they completed one task for him. When you talk about films with hitman, you would expect it to be fast paced and sleek- that is exactly In Bruges is not! In Bruges is rather a quiet story, a story that focusses on the two characters and their interaction.
The writing is different and the script is detailed;the juxtaposition of two very different characters in Ray and Ken adds to the film. The story becomes thicker when we come to know that Harry wants Ken to kill Ray because he had shot a young boy during one of their jobs which might add to Harry's problems. There's another track to the story as well, Ray meets a girl in Bruges and ends up beating up her boyfriend! The film culminates with all these characters trying to achieve what they want.
In Bruges can probably be termed as a dark comedy since there is an underlying sarcasm throughout the film but I suppose british comedies aren't my idea of fun! Despite agreeing that the writing is good, I somehow didn't feel the film was upto the standards. Yes,the film had its moments but it didn't add up for me!
Collin Farrell as Ray does a commendable job and stands out from the rest. Brendan Gleeson as Ken is good too. I thought Ralph Fienne's went overboard and this has to rate as one of his worst performances!
I am still confused if I should recommend this film. So I guess you should go ahead with it if you like british films.
In Bruges is a 2008 film starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes. I picked it up for just £5 in HMV after hearing great things about it from friends. As a person who enjoys comedy perhaps a little darker and edgier than the norm I was assured I would love In Bruges. I took them on their word but have only recently got round to watching it. In Bruges won its writer/ director Martin McDonagh the 2009 BAFTA for best original screenplay.
Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) are two hitmen who are sent by their employer Harry Waters (Ralph Fiennes) to hide out in Bruges after being involved in a job that went badly. Their orders: to wait for a phone call. Whilst Ken takes hold of the opportunity to explore the history and architecture of the medieval town Ray is angry, full of guilt and most of all annoyed to be in Bruges. Trying to forget what happened Ray begins his own little adventure in the small Belgium town; an adventure reliant on a concoction of alcohol and drugs. During his escapades Ray meets beautiful drug dealers, highly strung actors with dwarfism as well as scary skinheads. Yet when the call finally comes will the news received be what the hitmen want to hear?
This film is nothing if not inventive and I can't think of another motion picture that comes close to it. This dark comedy treads the line between hilarity and melancholy perfectly giving the audience each in appropriate doses.
Colin Farrell was great as Ray and it was easy to see him as a fairly incompetent hitman who whilst having a couldn't care less attitude is actually quite frightened by the whole situation and unable to deal with the reality of it all.
Brendan Gleeson plays the more experienced and worldly wise man of Ken. He is a complex character who has a love of history, an impulse to protect his younger charge but also the ability of violence. Gleeson performs outstandingly in the film and the relationship between him and Farrell is wonderfully believable and explains why the two of them were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical which Farrell ultimately won.
I thought the way that beautiful views of the town of Bruges were combined with surreal action moments gave this film the kick that it needed to stand out from the crowd. I felt it was as though the movie was shot like this in order to represent the calm nature of Ken and the giddy, uncontrollable personality of Ray which had to run alongside one another.
In Bruges is an 18 which is appropriate due to scenes of drug use, very strong language and some quite graphic violence. This isn't a film for people who are easily offended or those who prefer to view the world through rose-tinted glasses. There is also a lot of bonus material on the DVD but I haven't viewed any of it yet.
The film is easy to follow if occasionally a little hectic and the strength of the plot is only improved by the talented actors involved in the movie. I greatly enjoyed this film and think it is one of the better comedies from the last decade. I genuinely cannot fault any part of this film and I think the script, direction, acting and cinematography were all top class.
In bruges was nothing like I was expecting. Now i think about it, i don't really know what i was expecting but not what i got. This, however, is not a bad thing. In Bruges is hilarious, or at least i thought it was. Yet the humour is quite dark, but it is by no means a black comedy, not in the usual sense anyway.
The story revolves around two hitmen, who, after a botched "job" in London are sent the to the picturesque town of Bruges (Belguim) to hide out until the heat dies down. Things get a little more interesting, quite quickly. I have to admit, for me the film started off a little slowly. There wasn't enough action or anything gripping at the start, but once it gets going its well worth every second.
We soon find out, that despite being friends and colleagues, these two men are very different. One just wants to enjoy the sights, do the tourist thing, while the other (Collin Farrell (unsurprisingly)) would rather get drunk and have a laugh.
We soon find the dark tale behind the story and what went wrong with the London job. Which leads Farrell's character to be suicidal. There are twists and turns as well as drugs, jokes and rascist midgets. This film has it all and had me in stiches for most of it, but that might just be my twisted sense of humour. There are certainly some unexpected turns in direction near the end and that is always welcome.
In the end, its a fantastic script, fun and clever story and a good cast. If you like a good thriller/comedy, you will like this.
In Bruges is the 2008 black comedy set in the beautifully quaint Belgian city of the same name. I have to admit This film turned out totally different to what I was expecting it to be, but that just goes to show - you should never go into films with preconceptions, try to avoid hype and negative criticism until you have seen it, then make your own informed and unfettered review objectively.
First off I had heard only limited chit chat about this film and a lot of it I had been fairly passive about, when my boss told me to watch it (He brought it into work for me...) I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes funny and interesting films. The cast are brilliant and received several high accolades for their performances but i don't think they're the stars...although wonderful on screen individually and together, I believe the real star performance comes from writer and director Martin McDonagh. Not just a film maker but a playwright this man certainly has some kind of talent and I cannot wait to see more from him, truly worth checking out and something quite stylish about his filmic ability.
Without giving away too much of the plot it is hard to say much about the story however it is a hugely funny movie about several hit men "hiding out" in Bruges befriending everything from a beautiful drug dealing girlfriend of a small time crook and film star midget (although he prefers Dwarf) with a passion for illegal substances and prostitutes... quite literally hilarious results are produced, believe me.
Martin McDonagh cleverly displays the two hit men in an incredibly human light, with all their gaffs and foibles leaching through the thin veneer of hardened gangland killers. With dialogue and themes reminiscent of a Pinter play this film holds something incredibly valuable and unmissible for audiences worldwide. A magical fairytale city and a dark overtone within the storyline makes for a very entertaining and light hearted approach to what many directors would have turned into a blood thirsty rampaging action thriller.
This is a great Irish film, and really unusual. Two of my colleagues were discussing it in the office and the first thing they both said was 'strange film' but that they really enjoyed it, so I decided to get it out from LoveFilm.
********** The Plot **********
Two hit-men get sent to Bruges after a job goes wrong and are told to lay low until they get their next instructions. While stuck in Bruges they have to find ways to fill their time until they find out why they are there and what they are supposed to do next. I won't give away more than that, especially as the film is quite unusual and I think it would ruin it if you knew what happens.
********** The Characters **********
Brendan Gleeson plays Ken - a quiet, middle-aged man interested in culture who seems to command a high-level of respect even though he essentially kills people for a living. He seems to be a sincere, intelligent man, lost in his own thoughts for most the time. He actually seems to be enjoying his time in Bruges and likes to investigate to city and admire the cathedrals and architecture. He is a brilliant actor and although reserved and quiet he gives a very powerful performance.
Colin Farrell plays Ray - he is almost like a son-like character to Ken. A lot younger, restless, interested in drinking and cavorting he needs to be calmed down and put in his place by Ken a couple of times, although as Ken is ultimately a soft character he normally ends up giving in. Again, the acting is great and he is such a different character to Ken that it gives the film a good balance and is interesting to see two such different characters playing alongside each other.
********** The Tone **********
As said, the film is very unusual. The main reason I say this is that one minute it is hilarious and I found myself laughing out loud, and the next minute it is actually very sad and I could probably have cried. I guess it's best described as a Tragic Comedy which makes me think of Shakespeare - and in a funny way it probably could be compared to a modern Shakespeare performance (of course I'm not trying to compare it exactly). The film also sways between slow-moving parts covering more mundane aspects (not boring though) and then action-packed adventure with a certain amount of violence as well.
********** Basics **********
It was released in February 2008 and directed by Martin McDonagh who won an award for it (IPSG). It has a running time of 1 hour and 47 minutes and you could either rent it from LoveFilm or buy it on DVD for around £10.
********** Conclusion **********
I thought this film was great, and very cleverly put together. It is very far from being a typical Blockbuster (I guess especially as it's an Irish film) which is part of what makes it so great. It is very unique and quirky and would probably be one of those films which would be interesting to study - I think it's quite a meaningful film really. I would definitely recommend giving it a go - people will probably have quite varied opinions on this film but if you don't like it, it will definitely at least have you talking about it afterwards. The funny thing is, I would quite like to go and visit Bruges now!
note: also appears in part on Flixster, The Student Room, and my film review site, ShaunMunro.co.uk!
Arguably the best British film of 2008 was In Bruges, a hilariously and frenzied romp through Bruges with some impressive performances, a great, witty script, and impressive direction. Martin McDonagh's finds himself progressing from Oscar-winning 2004 short Six Shooter to In Bruges - one of the best full-length features of 2008, regardless of national identity.
Largely unseen in more populist cinema circles (likely because of the tenuous marketability of the film's premise - what average cinemagoer wants to see an existential meditation?), In Bruges finds two hit men (Colin Farrell & Brendan Gleeson) exiled in Bruges following a botched assassination, as a third assassin (Ralph Fiennes) seeks them out. Darkly funny, and quirky without seeming smug or self-important, In Bruges serves up bloody gunfights and plenty of laughs alongside an existential undercurrent, pondering the implications of life and death when intertwined with guilt and honour. Farrell and Fiennes in particular are excellent.
Whilst dark comedies are indeed a dime a dozen, few are crafted with as much care as In Bruges - it's intelligent, whilst at the same time not being afraid to be crude or confront some rather difficult issues, such as child murder. Farrell is the unqualified delight of the film - he won a Golden Globe for his performance, quite justifiably so, and the supporting cast, particularly Ralph Fiennes, as an assassin with a very curious code of conduct, is very knowing and insanely hilarious. Brendan Gleeson himself may not be as well known as the rest of the cast, but he works as the most straight-laced foil to Farrell's most carefree and comedy-based turn.
Embossed in dark humour and existential undertones, In Bruges is a frequently hilarious, thoroughly entertaining comic thriller, with stunning turns from Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes.