Electricity & Lust

A Few Thoughts on In Bruges

Posted in film by Sam Unsted on August 3, 2008

When this film first arrived, my interest was passing-to-minimal. Colin Farrell, star of Alexander and notoriously bad script-picker, plays a hitman in hiding out in Bruges after a job. I actually like Farrell generally as an actor but this just smelt like it could be another slightly irritating tome in which Farrell fails to pick a decent script and we end up watching him struggle. Also, Ralph Fiennes has never saved a film for me.

I was wrong. Prevent self from judging books without considering beyond the cover and perceptions. This is brilliant. In Bruges is probably the year’s most underrated movie. The performances from Brendan Gleason and Farrell are pitch perfect, playing off each other without being total opposites. The two brush each other the wrong way but there constantly seems a mutual respect and brotherhood between the characters. Their interactions are ball-bustingly funny at times but that tone manages to shift to emotional with great skill. The quiet scenes between Gleason and Farrell after Gleason makes his choice to save his friend are really well-judged and, for all the excellence and hilarity flowing from Farrell (particularly his burgeoning friendship with a dwarf actor), Gleason is Oscar-good. He retains a quiet, gentle nature but hints successfully at the dark and sad underlying human beneath the surface. He’s a total revelation for me in this. Also, Ralph Fiennes, is fantastic. He has a great time in the role playing a lighter version of Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast and his scenes with Gleason are really nicely judged, again hinting at a long and complicated past between the two.

Not the year’s absolute best but this is really, really a worthwhile watching if you enjoy un-PC humour, sparingly-used violence and Colin Farrell. Also, if you enjoy it, track down director Martin McDonough short Six Shooter, an Oscar-winner also starring Gleason and also really outstanding.


2 Responses

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  1. Adam said, on August 4, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    It was better than I thought it would be, but man, did the end of the movie ruin it for me…just so silly.

  2. DVDs This Week « Electricity & Lust said, on August 11, 2008 at 10:01 am

    […] Bruges – You can read my thoughts on this one here so I won’t say much more than this is a sterling, well-written and well-acted […]

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