Written and directed by Martin McDonagh
Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Clémence Poésy, Ralph Fiennes
After a job gone wrong, criminals Ray (Farrell) and Ken (Gleeson) have been sent to hide out in Bruges, Belgium. This medieval town is the last place that Ray wants to be while he deals with the grief of his recent failure. As the two wait for instructions from their boss (Fiennes), they begin to soak up the culture of the small town. Soon Ray has connected with a young actress (Poésy) and he’s looking for a way out of his troubled past.
This is a strange crime/buddy/drama/comedy straight from the mind of Martin McDonagh (Seven Psychopaths). He not only wrote the screenplay, but he also directed the film. His writing earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The cast includes Colin Farrell (Saving Mr. Banks), Brendan Gleeson (Safe House), Clémence Poésy (Harry Potter), and Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List).
This is an interesting script that combines a dark comic core with a story built around crime and drama. The dialogue is witty and hilarious at times, and in other moments it’s thoughtful and sentimental. The combination of genres works because of the nice way the twists and turns are built into the movie. In addition, the story pays off on almost every setup. Some I could see coming from a mile away, and others were truly surprising.
There are some moments within the movie that seem to feel out-of-place. Although this isn’t a plot issue, it seems to be more of a tonal problem. The tone of the story changes from the beginning, but every once in a while the writing seems to forget that and revert. This made some scenes feel a bit awkward. Still, this was a really great story that goes from intense to hilarious to thrilling to romantic and back again.
The acting in this movie works really nicely with the material. Farrell and Gleeson are the perfect “odd couple” for this story. The two actors bring their disagreements and quirks to life wonderfully. Each of the two stars seems to give their characters the depth they need to be interesting. Had they come across as shallow, this story wouldn’t have worked. Clémence Poésy and Ralph Fiennes both do great work as well. This was a nicely chosen cast that really works nicely in this unique and intense film.
This movie has some great visuals to go along with the story and the acting. The camera work seems to take full advantage of the locations and sets used for the film. The visuals also do a great job adding to the intensity and the suspense in this one. Overall, this is a well-rounded movie from all the technical aspects.
This will be right up the alley of anyone who’s a fan of dark comedies. I would also suggest this to anyone who likes the stars of the movie. This has so many twists and turns that will please anyone who loves great storytelling. Any weaknesses this movie has are easily overlooked in the long run. I give this one 4.6 out of 5 stars.