Sunday, 27 April 2008

In Bruges

To see Martin McDonagh's fine dark comedy In Bruges this afternoon. I'm not normally a Colin Farrell fan, but he gives a cracking performance as Ray the hitman who has made a terrible mistake and is forced to hide out with a more experienced colleague Ken (played by Brendan Gleeson) in Bruges. The Bruges tourist board is counting on a big tourist influx thanks to the many picturesque shots of the town over Christmas and its fine architecture and history (and there is a real magic to the place at that time of year). But Ray regards it as 'a shithole' (until he falls for a local lass), though Ken insists on his doing plenty of sightseeing. Ralph Fiennes is the dastardly boss, Harry, who has more sinister reasons for sending the hitmen to the Belgian town, and the ensuing chases and killings are not pretty. Anyone who has seen McDonagh's brilliant but boisterous satire on the pretensions of extremist Republicanism, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, will know what to expect. If you can take the occasionally strong violence and language, this is as good a film as one could hope for from the master playwright behind it.

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