‘In Bruges’ offers comical look at hit men and beautiful city

Emerson Muzada

Cobblestone roads, narrow canals between brick houses and medieval churches with bell towers that reach the heavens color the setting for the movie, “In Bruges.” Written and directed by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh, who won an Oscar last year for his film “Six Shooter,” “In Bruges” takes place in Bruges, Belgium where two hit men find themselves hiding out after a job in London went horribly wrong. Starring Brendan Gleeson as Ken and his partner Ray played by Colin Farrell, the two hit men are ordered by their boss Harry, played by two-time Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes, to leave London immediately and go to Bruges to keep a low profile.

Upon arriving in Bruges, Ken and Ray find themselves sharing a room for two weeks while they wait for their boss Harry to call them back with further instructions. The two of them occupy their time by touring the beautiful city of Bruges.

Ray is a short-tempered, emotional individual who whines and complains about his misery of being in Bruges. Ken plays a confident, warm-hearted lunatic who enjoys his time in the city with sightseeing and visiting medieval chapels. The relationship is defined by constant arguing and complaining between the two, and strong language and immature remarks deliver a constant comedic punch to audiences.

One of Farrell’s better performances, he is the perfect fit for his character as his “bad boy” image and ill-mannered, trouble making reputation as an actor works well for a hit man. Gleeson is well known for his roles of authority and as a mentor complements Farrell’s character. His performance meshes a humorous and demented relationship between the two Irish actors.

McDonagh’s brilliant script intrigues audiences with constant cursing and the dialog between Ken and Ray is critical as it keeps the audience entertained. As Ken and Ray banter and argue amongst themselves, the plot thickens when Ken receives a call from his short-tempered boss Harry, who reveals his hidden agenda. Meanwhile, Ray is on a date with Chloe, a girl he met on a movie set while gallivanting around Bruges. Chloe is played by the French actress Clemence Poesy, who was Fleur Delacour in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

The cinematography is intriguing, and truly highlights the extraordinary city of Bruges. The streamlined canals between red brick houses and cobblestone roads don’t even compare to the view from atop the bell tower in the chapel. By angling close-up views and frames during the immense confrontations and dramatic sequences, the cinematography demands your attention, simultaneously capturing the beauty of Bruges and the ugliness of mankind. The extravagant setting and comical dialog hold a steady rhythm that leads up to the intense and very graphic climax.

For moviegoers who don’t mind the relentless cursing, this is a great movie. Frequent cursers will easily understand the foul language in the dialog, while others who don’t utilize curse words in everyday use could misinterpret the conversation or find it appalling altogether.

In a dark, mischievous and comical way, McDonagh’s script touches upon the business of murder with a profound use of humor. The character’s insanity and respect for one another is intertwined well within the script, and the twisted plot is hidden and prolonged by the outrageous dialog. This movie’s unpredictability will give the audience chills, and keep them on their toes as the plot slowly unravels itself.

Not only is this movie hilarious, but Colin Farrell demonstrates his emotional capabilities as an actor after his character’s job in London leaves him depressed and suicidal. If you enjoy unpredictable movies with an exceptional script, outstanding cast and even more impressive setting, you should watch “In Bruges.”