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Saturday, September 30, 2023


Film Review: Sinister ‘Bruges’ still packs a laugh

With some of the junk released in theaters these days, it’s nice to walk out of a film feeling you’ve invested your time wisely. First of all, it was an adventure to get to the theater. I got lost, nearly killed a bum, couldn’t find the parking garage, couldn’t get my reserved ticket because the box office lady sold it, and then had to stand and watch the entire film from the side of the auditorium. After all that, I’d say it was well worth every bit of trouble.

In Bruges is a comedic crime-drama that is both hilarious and touching. Director Martin McDonagh presents a tale of friendship, betrayal and morality that will leave your sides hurting and your heart warm.

The film follows Ray (Colin Farrell) and his partner Ken (Brendan Gleeson), a pair of hit men who fled to Bruges, a small city in Belgium, after a job goes awry. The young Ray and the seasoned Ken see the city very differently, and Ray begins to lose his mind in what he feels may be the equivalent of hell. While walking through the city one night, he meets a young woman named Natalie (Elizabeth Berrington) and the two begin a twisted and hilarious relationship centering around love, lies and midgets.

The best aspect of this film is the mixed emotions that the audience feels toward the characters. At first, we recognize Ray as a funny but rather un-likeable person who will rant and rave to anyone who will listen. But as the film goes on, we discover the burden of guilt that Ray carries with him and Farrell’s performance makes it easy for the audience to sympathize with him.

I loved Gleeson’s portrayal of Ken in this film. He complements Farrell so well in the twisted relationship between he and Ray. He is the rational and calm man with the answers to all problems, but is ultimately faced with a dilemma that tests his morals and integrity. Gleeson is well complemented by Ralph Fiennes who plays Harry, the foul-mouthed crime boss responsible for sending the two to Bruges in the first place.

There are no real heroes or villains in the film, nor are the actions of the characters ever truly justified or unjustified. This results in the audience supporting one character and turning against another at some point in the film.

Despite the crudeness of the characters and the sinister atmosphere, the questions of ethics and morals are strongly displayed.

It is a wild and hilarious comedy with a touch of sorrow that anyone can enjoy.

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