SHOOT FIRST. SIGHTSEE LATER.
Two hit men (Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson) are sent to hide out in the Belgian town of Bruges after a botched killing, but their employer (Ralph Fiennes) has a secret agenda. Martin McDonagh’s feature film directing debut is a bit of an oddity – a charming gangster movie. It has irresistible postcard views of Bruges (I want to go there now), a good sense of humor and three criminals who come close to behaving like real people, not cold-blooded movie killers. Amusing dialogue and an involving story that takes a few unexpected turns. Brilliant cast; Farrell is especially good as the killer who tries to hide his death wish behind a façade of childishness.
2008-U.S.-Britain. 107 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin. Written and directed by Martin McDonagh. Music: Carter Burwell. Cast: Colin Farrell (Ray), Brendan Gleeson (Ken), Ralph Fiennes (Harry Waters), Clémence Poésy, Jérémie Rénier, Thekla Reuten. Cameo: Ciarán Hinds.
BAFTA: Best Original Screenplay. Golden Globe: Best Actor (Farrell).
Last word: “[I] was just struck by how stunningly cinematic and just picturesque and creepy and medieval, but cinematic …how cinematic [Bruges] was. I always wondered why it hadn’t been used in film before because it is so distinctive and just stunning really. Then I just wandered around to all the churches and museums and got bored shitless and just wanted to get drunk and get out of there, but then those two halves of my brain started chatting with each other; the culture vulture and the drunk. They just kind of became characters. They became Ray and Ken and I thought, ‘Why would they be in a place like that when they wouldn’t want to be?’ (McDonagh, Collider)