In Bruges

Written and Directed by Martin McDonagh

Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésey, Jordan Prentice, Thekla Reuten, Željko Ivanek.

In McDonagh’s first feature film, we are introduced to Ray and Ken (Farrell and Gleeson), two Irish hit-men being ordered to hide out in the town of Bruges (it’s in Belgium) by their boss Harry (Fiennes) after Ray has bungled his first hit.

I will not elaborate on his action here, as it will spoil the film, but due to it he is now suffering from severe PTSD and depression as a result. As they spend two weeks in the city, they meet a varying array of both locals and fellow tourists, intersecting themselves into the lives of those in the town

Beautifully written, it scored McDonagh an Oscar nomination as a result. It has an incredibly poignant screenplay, which have moments of darkly funny to utterly tragic as Ray struggles with his grief over his action. There is one very funny quote said by Fiennes that a friend of mine and I call each other on our respected birthdays that will always make each other laugh.

The movie is filmed on location in the stunning city of Bruges, and the backdrop feels both gothic and religious. The main leads show both their love for the history in the world wise Ken and the almost contempt for their location in the youthful Ray.

The score is just incredible by the brilliant Carter Burwell, and sets the dark tone that the characters are going through as they spend their time contemplating their futures.

The acting is supurb, with Colin Farrell scoring himself a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Ray (and Gleeson scoring a nom in the same category). Farrell has consistently shown he is a powerhouse actor, and here he shows such amazing range of a man on the edge, showing both his grief at his actions, as well as the potential to grow from his mistakes.

Gleeson as always delivers, and Fiennes is in his element as the extreme Harry – other supporting cast members, such as Poésey as Ray’s love interest Chloe and especially Reuten as Marie are wonderful additions.

An absolutely amazing film, and well worth a watch!

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