London based hit men Ray and Ken are told by their boss Harry Waters to lie low in Bruges, Belgium for up to two weeks following their latest hit, which resulted in the death of an innocent bystander. Harry will be in touch with further instructions. While they wait for Harry's call, Ken, following Harry's advice, takes in the sights of the medieval city with great appreciation. But the charms of Bruges are lost on the simpler Ray, who is already despondent over the innocent death, especially as it was his first job. Things change for Ray when he meets Chloe, part of a film crew shooting a movie starring an American dwarf named Jimmy. When Harry's instructions arrive, Ken, for whom the job is directed, isn't sure if he can carry out the new job, especially as he has gained a new appreciation of life from his stay in the fairytale Bruges. While Ken waits for the inevitable arrival into Bruges of an angry Harry, who feels he must clean up matters on his own, Ray is dealing with his own ...Written by
A scene was filmed with Harry on a train on his way to Bruges, where he is verbally aggressive to a fellow traveler who attempts some small talk. This scene was cut from the theatrical version of the film. See more »
The stationery of the hotel where Ken and Ray are staying has the hotel name as "De Rozenkransje - Brugge". Brugge being the Flemish name for the town of Bruges. Even a fictitious Belgian hotel would never be named like that, because the article is incorrect. 'Rozenkrans', meaning Rosary, would indeed have the article 'de'. However, 'Rozenkransje' is the diminutive and as such would always have 'Het' as the article. Even for proficient but non-native Flemish/Dutch speakers, this is a commonly made mistake. See more »
After I killed them, I dropped the gun in the Thames, washed the residue off me hands in the bathroom of a Burger King, and walked home to await instructions. Shortly thereafter the instructions came through. "Get the fuck out of London, youse dumb fucks. Get to Bruges." I didn't even know where Bruges fucking was.
It's in Belgium.
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On Raglan Road
Written by Patrick Kavanagh
Arranged and Performed by The Dubliners
The words of 'On Raglan Road' by Patrick Kavanagh are reprinted by kind permission of the Trustees of the Estate of the late Katherine B. Kavanagh, through the Jonathan Williams Literary Agency See more »
Of Mice and Hit Men.
A lot of reviews see fit to give a thorough plot summary, so I'll just talk b*llocks instead.
In Bruges is a grown up gangster film not because it uses the word f*ck very often, though it does, because even a child can type 'f*ck' repetitively into a screen play and judging by most recent gangster films, with a few notable exceptions, that wouldn't be too far from the truth.
In Bruges is a grown up genre film not because it hangs out in galleries and cathedrals like a tapestry woven by Brueghel's mistress from blood, sin, and judgement. Though it does.
In Bruges is a black comedy for grown ups not because it consciously satisfies our skulking childishness, our 'incorrect' urge to lash out at convention , say f*ck the lot 'o ya's, fist someone in the mouth for good measure and then offer a fast talking and wickedly funny apology. And it does all that too.
In Bruges is grown up cinema because despite being sexy, fun and stylish, it is emotionally literate. Is that allowed?
The complexity of Martin McDonagh's screen play is manifold, developing and delineating character through dialogue as much as action. Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrel inhabit their characters with equal and at times forceful skill, displaying flawless comic timing and sensitivity. Together they breathe 'real life' into the hyperbolic corpse of a bloated genre that never quite realised it died some time ago. McDonagh's characters realise too late they've been c*nts, one way or another, and far too late, begin to grow. Characters with history, in emotional distress, barely conscious or all too aware. They do what we might in their shoes. And as they trace the outline of their own destruction in lines of cocaine or spilled beer, their conceit, self loathing, compassion or stubbornness lays them all bare. There is a cost for all of them, characters on a human scale, acting out their tragedy in recognisable terms. In Bruges is as morally instructive as it is dramatically satisfying, almost becoming a medieval mystery play in the setting of the title.
Finally In Bruges is a dangerously perfect fusion of plot, meaning and story. Ripples of understanding run back and forth across the surface of the experience, hinting at the themes which swim powerfully beneath. A film this genuinely startling doesn't happen very often.
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