WOW! I loved In Bruges! This film is the perfect combination of a dark, human comedy and an emotional character study. Brilliant! Now, I understand the excitement for writer/director Martin McDonagh‘s next film Seven Psychopaths and will wait anxiously for its 2012 release.
It is hard for movies to surprise me. Without trying, I usually see connections and predict possibilities, but McDonagh kept me in the dark for most of this narrative, which allowed for small unexpected awesomeness! What appears to be a typical tale about two professional hitmen in hiding in the city of Bruges in Belgium, awaiting their gangster boss’ instructions, turns out to be an intricate narrative with layers of depth and meaning. McDonagh’s direction is tight and lean–there are no wasted or unnecessary shots, which keeps the pace brisk and energetic.
The cast is perfect! Colin Farrell can be hit and miss with me, but he is dead on as the younger of the hitmen. This is the kind of performance that makes you sad when you see him wasting his talent on unworthy crap. C’mon Colin! No more crap, please. (I did love his turn in Fright Night last year–so maybe things are looking up) Then you have the often overlooked brilliance of Brendan Gleeson as the older hitmen (if you haven’t seen The Guard–make that happen! It is great). Round it off with the genius that is Ralph Fiennes, as the cranky and hilarious boss and you have magic. And as we all know–magic on-screen can be a rare phenomenon. It was also clever to use the city of Bruges purposefully, so that it too, becomes another interesting character–“It’s like a f-ing fairy tale!”
So, rent it, put it in your Netflix queue, Redbox it, whatever you have to do…but if you, like me, have waited to watch this–put it on your must see list. And if you’ve already enjoyed it –you can just sit back and say, DUH! 🙂
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