January 14, 2009

#009: In Bruges

In Bruges is a European film about two hitmen, played by Colin Farrell & Brendan Gleeson, that get themselves into a bit of a mess.  Their boss (Ralph Fiennes) sends them to Bruges to let things cool off a bit.  The movie follows them for their time in Bruges, and shows us how they deal with the fallout from their last job. It doesn't happen very often that I see two movies in a row that I really like. Eastern Promises was awesome, and I didn't think I would be able to top it anytime soon. Especially not with the next movie. "In Bruges" is at least as good as "Eastern Promies", if not better. I absolutely loved this movie. This is another film I had heard positive things about, but knew little else about it. I noticed it was playing on our movie channel, so I recorded to my DVR a couple months ago. I just got around to watching it this past Monday, and was completely blown away. For the most part I am overly critical of movies, and usually focus on the bad parts. I'm not going to say this movie had no faults, but I sure didn't notice many. First off, the cinematography is great. It is set in the city of Bruges, Belgium, which has wonderful scenery. They did a great job of using that to enhance the film. I hate it when people say things like, "the city itself became a character in this film." I read that crap a lot when people mentioned Gotham City in their gushing review of "The Dark Knight." Well, I am not going to say that the city of Bruges was a character in this film, but it was probably as close as any city has come. I mean, the movie is called "In Bruges", and the entire film is shot there. Wonderful scenes take place on, or in, some of the city's most prominent historical landmarks.

The next thing I loved about this film is the acting. I have never been a Colin Farrell fan. I don't think he is a bad actor, I just don't feel he has ever had a role that let him show much ability. I know he has been in several movies, but none of them really stick out to me. Well, in this movie he is great. He does a perfect job with Ray, the main character. Brendan Gleeson does a great job playing his partner, and RayFiennes is pretty good as their boss. There are definitely no bad performances that stick out in this movie. I really liked Colin Farrell's facial ticks and shifty eyes, and Gleeson's facial expressions say so much without words. For most of the movie we just hear Fiennes's voice, but the phone conversations and later scenes with him are some of my favorite of the film.

By far, the best element of this entire film is the writing.  Each scene seems to have such great interactions with the characters choosing the perfect things to say. One thing that I very much enjoyed is how paradoxical the movie was for me. The characters were faced with very serious situations, yet there was a very light feel to how they were handling things. Sometimes this movies feels like a comedy, but the content is far from comedic.  I didn't really notice it at first and didn't pay much attention to how it was being done. This is one of the main reasons that I really want to see this movie again right away. I got the feeling like each word the character speaks was chosen for a reason, and there was more meaning to them than what I could have realized. Maybe I will watch it again and find out that I am completely wrong, but I guarantee I will throughly enjoy a second viewing. I would not hesitate to recommend this movie to anybody.  Hopefully you will like it as well as I did.  When you see it don't forget to let me know what you think.

4.5 stars for this great movie. It was so much more than I was expecting. I really liked it. One of the best I have seen for quite awhile.


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