In Bruges (2008)

R   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Drama


In Bruges (2008) Poster

Guilt-stricken after a job gone wrong, hitman Ray and his partner await orders from their ruthless boss in Bruges, Belgium, the last place in the world Ray wants to be.

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7.9/10
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  • Ciarán Hinds at an event for In Bruges (2008)
  • Colin Farrell at an event for In Bruges (2008)
  • Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in In Bruges (2008)
  • Martin McDonagh in In Bruges (2008)
  • Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in In Bruges (2008)
  • Colin Farrell at an event for In Bruges (2008)

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22 June 2008 | jayhurstart
10
| Of Mice and Hit Men.
A lot of reviews see fit to give a thorough plot summary, so I'll just talk b*llocks instead.

In Bruges is a grown up gangster film not because it uses the word f*ck very often, though it does, because even a child can type 'f*ck' repetitively into a screen play and judging by most recent gangster films, with a few notable exceptions, that wouldn't be too far from the truth.

In Bruges is a grown up genre film not because it hangs out in galleries and cathedrals like a tapestry woven by Brueghel's mistress from blood, sin, and judgement. Though it does.

In Bruges is a black comedy for grown ups not because it consciously satisfies our skulking childishness, our 'incorrect' urge to lash out at convention , say f*ck the lot 'o ya's, fist someone in the mouth for good measure and then offer a fast talking and wickedly funny apology. And it does all that too.

In Bruges is grown up cinema because despite being sexy, fun and stylish, it is emotionally literate. Is that allowed?

The complexity of Martin McDonagh's screen play is manifold, developing and delineating character through dialogue as much as action. Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrel inhabit their characters with equal and at times forceful skill, displaying flawless comic timing and sensitivity. Together they breathe 'real life' into the hyperbolic corpse of a bloated genre that never quite realised it died some time ago. McDonagh's characters realise too late they've been c*nts, one way or another, and far too late, begin to grow. Characters with history, in emotional distress, barely conscious or all too aware. They do what we might in their shoes. And as they trace the outline of their own destruction in lines of cocaine or spilled beer, their conceit, self loathing, compassion or stubbornness lays them all bare. There is a cost for all of them, characters on a human scale, acting out their tragedy in recognisable terms. In Bruges is as morally instructive as it is dramatically satisfying, almost becoming a medieval mystery play in the setting of the title.

Finally In Bruges is a dangerously perfect fusion of plot, meaning and story. Ripples of understanding run back and forth across the surface of the experience, hinting at the themes which swim powerfully beneath. A film this genuinely startling doesn't happen very often.

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