Saturday, May 30, 2009


If you like the movies of the Coen brothers - Fargo, Blood Simple, Burn After Reading - than have we a got a movie for you. Great acting, good dialogue, intertwining character threads and beautiful scenery.
In Bruges stars Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes. It starts off slowly, as a simple comedy, and this nice slow start gives you time to know the characters and care about them. Farrell and Gleeson are two hit men told to cool their heels in Bruges, Belgium after their last job goes tragically wrong. The older, more experienced Gleeson enjoys the sightseeing and history of this medieval city, but newbie Farrell chafes at being stuck in a hotel with nothing to do. All that changes when Farrell meets a beautiful blond working on a film shoot. Suddenly Bruges isn't so horrible a place after all.
It starts to turn a little darker as the details emerge of the bungled hit and you see some of Farrell's hair-trigger temper. But interspersed with the violence are some very funny lines (although perhaps you have to be European to understand the comedic value of Bruges as a location), and it's a treat to watch Farrell's performance. He is an Irish lout with no appreciation of culture, a violent thug, and a conscience-stricken nervous wreck all at the same time. Gleeson's character is a little less nuanced, because although you know he is a hired killer, you never see any examples of his work and he comes across as a thoroughly nice person (which I think most murders are not). Fiennes is wonderful as always.
There is also a great deal of swearing (one of the humorous lines in the movie refers to this), so if you are uncomfortable with strong language you will not like this film. But if you like your comedy dark, and you have a good ear for thick Irish accents, than I heartily recommend this movie.

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