I rewatched Martin McDonagh’s brilliant In Bruges last night, this time anticipating my upcoming July vacation in Belgium, Paris and Provence. This morning, found this piece from The Guardian’s series on “My Favourite Film.” For me – it nearly is! [ Pas De Merde ]
The best films waste no time, and In Bruges hits the ground sprinting with this pin-sharp voiceover: “After I’d killed him, I dropped the gun in the Thames, washed the residue off my hands in the bathroom of a Burger King, and walked home to await instructions.”
Bam. Within 10 seconds, the story has begun. A young hitman, Ray (Colin Farrell), has botched his first job for East End crime boss Harry Waters (Ralph Fiennes) and needs to go away for a while – to Bruges. He is incandescently stroppy about this. Accompanying him is Ken (Brendan Gleeson), an older gangster who, guidebook in hand, greets the Belgian town and its misty pre-Christmas streets with the determined gusto of your dad on a camping trip, all deep nose-breathing and itineraries.
Bruges is really the fourth name on the cast list here: its 12th-century canals and lamplit cobbles form the perfect backdrop to the script’s crepuscular tone, as well as its somewhat medieval probing of morality and blame and redemption. Because (spoilers ahead!) Ray, in the course of performing a hit on a priest, has also inadvertently shot dead a choirboy. His rage at being stuck in this purgatorial “shithole” hides an anguish over what, if there is an afterlife, must surely be an unpardonable sin.
READ THE FULL STORY: My favourite film: In Bruges | Film | The Guardian