Sunday, January 11, 2009

In Bruges

In Bruges (2008)

I saw this film for a few reasons.
One, it was on Eberts list of favorites in 2008.
Two, it was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Three, my favorite film buddy recommended we watch it.

And I'm thrilled that I did. In Bruges is my favorite film I've seen so far this year. (of course, I've only watched 5 films!)

The film is about two hitmen who retreat to Belgium, on orders from a superior, to wait for their next move. Ken, played by Brendan Gleeson (some might know him as Mad-Eye Moody from the Harry Potter films), enjoyed the fairy tale-quality of Bruges, Belgium and was all about being a tourist and enjoying the sightseeing and historical landmarks while they were there. Ray, played by Colin Farrell, was less than impressed with the town and the history and felt like a caged animal. He complained like a spoiled child and was always in search of a beer. Of course there is much more to this dark comedic film. At times it's steeped in tragic drama, and moments later your are laughing at the ironic twists.

a "straight beer" and one "gay beer," according to Ray

Ray is always making the best facial expressions. They speak even when he does not. It's like you can SEE the wheels of his mind turning.

This film, features two hit men, two "baddies," if you will, who have MORE to them than their jobs, as we all do. The film explores the moral complexity of the men, of all the characters, really.

Jimmy (Jordan Prentice), Chloe (Clémence Poésy), and Ray (Colin Farrell)

"It's a costume," explains Jimmy. He's in a film being shot in Bruges, a midget --or dwarf as Jimmy prefers-- in the dream sequence. Truly, this whole bit of In Bruges was more of what made me love it. This dwarf in a movie bit was all part of the absurdity and freshness and the film within a film actually plays a role in bringing characters together.

Chloe, a Bruges native, is struck by Ray's forward, frank approach to conversation and life. Every character in this film is perfectly cast and you can't help but love this girl and appreciate things from her perspective as well.

I want to say more, but I want people to see it so I am trying to steer clear of spoilers. This film is a bit like 3:10 to Yuma (which I saw about a year ago and loved) in the way it makes you think about life and death and bad choices and second chances. It explores, friendship, honor, debt, religion, art and love. So many good things. Of course, don't be fooled. It's VERY bloody and violent and utterly and completely an R-rated movie when it comes to profanity. If those things will set you back or stand in your way, you may want to steer clear. As for me, I enjoyed this one very much.

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