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DVDs I think you should own #7 – In Bruges

02/02/2011

Colin Farrell. He’s considered by many to something of a fanny, an image he doesn’t exactly go out of his way to dispel. His reputation as an actor is dubious at best and he has been in some absolutely stinking films (Alexander anyone?). His career has been so patchy that some people I know use his presence in a film as a warning against watching it. If you see him in interviews however he comports himself well, sometimes even coming across as charming. The same can be said about him when he’s in “smaller” films. In Bruges is an example of him excelling at his chosen career.

This is another film that I’m absolutely flabbergasted to hear people say they haven’t seen (or worse yet, haven’t even heard of!), a scenario that presents itself all too often. Despite its critical acclaim on its cinema release and its genuine brilliance a lot of people still don’t know it exists.

It’s an amazing little film that punches well above it’s weight. Writer/director Martin McDonagh’s script oozes tar black humour, stringing you along with laughs before you get a sucker punch of abject tragedy. The story is simple, Ken (Brendan Gleeson) and Ray (Farrell) are hitmen who are sent to Bruges by their boss Harry(Ralph Fiennes) to “lie low” after a botched assassination attempt. When Harry decides that Ray has to pay the ultimate price for his incompetence things get a little bit tricky.

The chemistry between Gleeson and Farrell is extraordinary, a mentor/pupil relationship that borders on father/son territory. They see eye to eye on virtually nothing and their constant banter is the comedy core of the film. Farrell brings the tragedy, Ray’s inability to deal with the mistakes of his past surfacing with genuine emotion throughout the film.

The snappy dialogue and dark overtones are reminiscent of Billy Wilder at his best and McDonagh has a wonderful eye for the absurdity present in the most grave and grim matters of life and death.

Everyone (and I mean everyone) should see this film.

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