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  • Gareth Crook

In Bruges (2008) - 9/10

After loving The Banshees of Inisherin, I felt compelled to revisit In Bruges. Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) are hitmen… in Bruges. They’ve come from their last hit in London and are waiting on a call from the boss. They’re chalk and cheese. Ken is a culture vulture, embracing the city. I’m with Ken. Ray isn’t, he’s the essence of a miserable teenager. Pissing of Canadian tourists and sulking. It’s a comedy, but there’s tragedy at its core. Inevitable I guess when there’s profit based murder going on.  They’re supposed to be lying low, but Ray is the excitable type. He’s also got a lot on his mind. Things he regrets doing and now with time on his hands, he’s chance to reflect… and he’s struggling. Until he meets Chloe (Clémence Poséy). She shares his dark humour, even after he nailed two annoying Canadian tourists on their first date. While Ray is out finally enjoying Bruges. Ken takes a call from their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes), which has to be one of the most wince inducing calls in cinema and that’s before Harry delivers news of Ken’s next hit. Bruges is a beautiful city and the camera makes the most of it. It’s a lovely setting for what becomes an increasingly bonkers and difficult story. Ken finds himself in an unenviable position, but this is far from a simple story. It unfolds delightfully and despite having seen this before, it’s no less enjoyable. I’m a bit indifferent about Farrell. He does well here… but not as well as Gleeson and Fiennes, who are both magnificent. Martin McDonagh’s roll call is pretty damn impressive. I’m not sure I could pick a favourite. Three Billboards, Banshees, Psychopaths. In Bruges though, I think may still just take the top spot.



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