Sunday, August 10, 2008

In Bruges

In Bruges
$19.99 in the Hansisgreat Gift Shop
Frequent visitors to Hansisgreat will note that I don't review movies very often, just books. I decided to make an exception in this case because it's one of the best movies I've ever seen, and since it was produced outside of Hollywood, it mostly eluded public attention.
Ray (Colin Farrell) thought it would be cool to be a hit man, but his first job goes horribly wrong as a young boy is killed in the cross-fire. Crime Boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) sends Ray and his partner Ken (Brendon Gleeson) to lay low for a while in the quiet Belgian city of Bruges.
Bruges is quite breathtaking: canals wind under high gothic arches, and cathedrals tower over quaint cobblestone streets in this beautifully preserved medieval city. 
Ray, having recently killed a child, is not really in the mood for tourism. He soon becomes infatuated with a Belgian film star, who isn't being quite honest with him. A confrontation soon develops 
with her crime partner/boyfriend.
Needless to say, there's more to this movie than just two guys hanging out in Bruges. An assassination is in the cards, and the target is just one of the many surprises in this intriguing, fast-paced thriller.
This movie has it all: exciting action, suspense, unexpected plot twists. It's even remarkably funny at times, considering how many tragic deaths litter the stage by the end. The cast is perfect, with some especially hilarious chemistry between Fiennes and Gleeson. Farrell as the handsome and sullen male lead doesn't hurt the cause either.
On a side note, a Belgian experimental film is being produced in Bruges as the story is being carried out. It involves midgets in bizarre costumes and actors with weird masks, and provides some incredible artistry although not directly relevant to the story. In Bruges really is very beautiful to look at, while remaining mostly an action film. 
Tremendously ambitious and panoramic in its scope, this movie is a success by any standard imaginable.

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