Where in the world is Bruges? Pronounced as “Broozh”, Bruges is a city in Belgium, well-known especially for its classical and medieval style buildings. So, is “In Bruges” some kind of adventure, travelling movie? Well, the answer maybe ‘yes’, with an addition that it has a mild touch of black comedy all around. Black comedy, or sometimes called as dark comedy, is a style of artwork (including film) that display humor in a form of cruelty, offense, violence, and any other inappropriateness. Then, “In Bruges” would be better categorized as crime-comedy film. It’s a feature-film directorial and screenwriting debut from Martin McDonagh, who brought this year’s “Seven Psychopaths”, and it brought him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
We'll be introduced with Ray (portrayed by Colin Farrell), a guilt-stricken newbie hit-man who was just shot an innocent boy in his first task. To relieve his guilty feeling, he and his partner, Ken (portrayed by Brendan Gleeson), was brought to have a nice trip to Bruges while waiting for the next instruction sent from their boss, Harry (portrayed by Ralph Fiennes). While Bruges amazed Ken so much, Ray thought the trip was terrible until he met Chloe (portrayed by Clémence Poésy), a staf of a film crew shooting a movie starring a dwarf named Jimmy (portrayed by Jordan Prentice).
"Maybe that's what hell is, the entire rest of eternity
spent in f*cking Bruges." - Ray
spent in f*cking Bruges." - Ray
This complicated story led me bored at the first place. The first half of the story was the dramatic part, as Ray could not ever forget his fault and Ken tried to console him. Ken was so attracted by the view of Bruges that he often asked Ray to take a sightseeing around the city, in which Ray alwasy ignore. So we’ll be taken to see the beauty of Bruges and some parts of it, correlating to the effort of cheering Ray up. Here you’ll be taken to some scenes, which at first I consider unimportant and spinning out time, like Ray first date with Chloe, the fight with a Canadian couple in a restaurant, the meeting with Jimmy, the cocain stuffs, and so on. But, keep hanging on. The interesting part began after the order from Harry came. All those seemingly unnecessary parts will come across at one incredible point in the ending. Each of those scene will have its own part in building the ultimate climax in the last minutes. Keep being patient in the first-half of the duration and you’ll be granted an awesome, stylish conclusion in the ending.
“In Bruges” was multinational. The film took place in Belgium, the two leading roles were Irish, their boss was English, Jimmy was American (and he was dating a Dutch call girl), and Ray hit a Canadian couple in the restaurant. Some jokes were made from it (and it’s quite offensive: that’s why it is regarded as a black comedy). Those were not supposed to make viewers laugh out loud I guess, the jokes were bitter. It’s funny in an odd way. Some violence and bloody scenes were even put together to build this dark humor. Don’t see it as an unsuccessful humor, you’re not supposed to laugh (and I laughed!) but you know you were tickled inside. The comical acts mostly came from Colin Farrell for his hilarious expression and dialogues, while Brendan Gleeson was rather to be a wiser guy with a good taste of historical trip. Ralph Fiennes was quite terrifying in “In Bruges” (although he was much more terrifying as Lord Voldemort in the “Harry Potter” series), but he could enjoy his humorous part. One last thing: I love the music. It’s so European. In some parts, the music led a successful tense to viewers. It’s very supportive.
“In Bruges” was not made to introduce the beauty of medieval city to the world (although it quite was), but it rather to be a trademark of Martin McDonagh as a black comedy kick-starter. His award-winning short film, “Six Shooter”, and his this-year-released film, “Seven Psychopaths”, were also black comedies, and both received good acclaims from many reviewers. “In Bruges” was dark, ruthlessly humorous, and well-written. Don’t hastily quit watching it in the beginning duration, you have to be patient to wait for its surprise. Meanwhile, just enjoy the rudeness.
IN BRUGES | COUNTRY UK YEAR 2008 RATING Rated R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language and some drug use RUNTIME 107 min GENRE Comedy, Crime, Drama CAST Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy, Jordan Prentice WRITER Martin McDonagh DIRECTOR Martin McDonagh IMDB RATING 8.0/10 METACRITIC 67/100 (Generally Favorable) TOMATOMETER 82% (Certified Fresh) MORE INFO