In writing this blog, I made an agreement with Fikri that I will not use the word f*ck in my reviews. However, seeing that the word itself was used 126 times in this 107-minute film, I would be doing this review a great injustice if I don’t use them at all.
I saw the trailer of the film quite a while back, and has been anticipating it ever since. I have to admit, though, that it’s partly due to Ralph Fiennes, who, in addition to being Lord Voldermort, is also one of my favourite actors. Simply put, it’s a British action-comedy, and stars Colin Ferrell and Brendan Gleeson. Once again, to echo the opening line of this review, ‘In Bruges’ is the best f*ck*ng film I saw this year. Yeah, the summer movies have all been good too (‘Iron Man’, ‘Speed’, ‘Caspian’, ‘Hulk’, ‘Indy’) but I am talking potential Oscar nods here and those movies don’t usually come out till end of the year.
The movie takes place in a little town call Bruges, which is in Belgium. It is the most well-preserved medieval town in the country. The city, with a population of 117,000 is filled with old churches, museums, canals, cobbled streets and even swans (how can f*ck*ng swans not f*ck*ng be somebody’s f*ck*ng thing, eh?). The story follows Ray (Ferrell) and Ken (Gleeson), who are both contract killers. They work for a bad-ass named Harry Waters (Fiennes). Ray, recommended to Harry by Ken, actually messed up a hit. He kills a target, as well as a little boy (accidentally, of course). Harry then tells them to get out of the country, and to wait for further instructions in Bruges.
Unfortunately, Ken ends up having a really great time there with all the sightseeing, while Ray goes through the worst f*ck*ng period of his life (partly due to the fact that his head is full of remorse for killing the innocent kid). To brighten things up, he meets a lovely Belgian minx named Chloe (Clemence Poesy, the French actress who played Fleur Delacour in ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’), and what better place to fall in love at than in a fairytale f*ck*ng town, which is Bruges. Just as Ray was about to have fun in Bruges, courtesy of Chloe, the instructions from Harry finally comes in to twist the story once again.
The movie was written and directed by Irishmen Martin McDonagh. Never heard of him? He has won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film for his flick, ‘Six Shooter’. ‘In Bruges’ happens to be his first feature-length film and man, can this guy write some good stuff. It has some witty and memorable lines, besides a relatively-fresh storyline with an unexpected ending. The direction was excellent, as McDonagh was realistically able to capture the chemistry between the actors. He also manages to bring out the evil-funny side of Ralph Fiennes that I’ve only seen in ‘Schindler’s List’. The cinematography was astonishing as the fairtytale town of Bruges was captured wonderfully. While watching the movie with my Dad, he actually asked me if this town is for real. It really makes you feel like you wanna see this lovely city before you die. Over the weekend, I saw the movie 3 times (even the music got stuck in my head: I am talking about the two main themes by Carter Burwell that were heard throughout the movie, as well as the beautiful ‘On Raglan Road’ by The Dubliners that was played when Ken was in the church tower).
However, the thing that did it for me was the cast: Ferrell, Gleeson and Fiennes. Ferrell, whom I only remember in ridiculous films such as ‘Alexander’, ‘Daredevil’ and ‘Miami Vice’, was properly utilised here. That’s because he’s not playing someone he’s not (i.e. a Macedonian prince) but a real Irishman, who’s apparently obsessed with midgets, Pakistanis and the Vietnamese. These obsessions of his were the best part of his character, especially how he’s constantly worried that a midget might have killed himself for being little. He also does drugs in this film, naturally.
Gleeson did a fantastic job here as well, playing the good bad guy. The scene with him at the church tower was just too good; it nearly reduced me to tears. His acting here is very natural and it’s good for once to see him playing a modern-day normal person, as opposed to the long-haired and bearded ancient warrior that he normally portrays (Amish in ‘Braveheart’, Menelaus in ‘Troy’ and Reynald De Chatillon in ‘Kingdom of Heaven’).
Although these two were fucking amazing in the film, the main star in my opinion has got to be Ralph Fiennes. I’ve always loved Fiennes as an actor since he’s always experimenting different type of roles and if I am to pick my favorite Fiennes’s character, then it’ll have to be Harry Waters (followed closely by Amon Goeth). He has that aura around him throughout the film (though sadly he only appeared later in the film) and whenever he’s in a scene, you want to listen carefully as everything that comes out of his mouth were just classic. Besides those well-crafted lines (thanks to McDonagh), the delivery was done at a terrific pace that made me feel like I wanna talk like that from now on. Basically, I can’t quite explain in words what his acting was like in the film. You will have to see the film for yourself and I f*ck*ng recommend it.
Earlier, I said possible Oscar nods and I am talking about Best Original Screenplay for McDonagh and Best Supporting Actor for Ralph Fiennes. Unfortunately, the movie, which was released early this year, would probably be long-forgotten by then. Not that many people have actually heard of it for that matter, with very limited release in the States. So fans of Fiennes and of British black comedies should definitely check this movie out. Even if you’re not it is still highly recommended, unless you despised movies with a lot of F-words. Then, you should avoid the movie at all cost. Final word: I f*ck*ng love this movie and I f*ck*ng love Bruges!
Fazil still wonders why Fiennes chose to do ‘Maid in Manhattan‘. Is J-Lo’s ass really that f*ck*ng irresistible?