With the word “fuck” uttered on an average of 1.18 times per minute, this film is not exactly one for the kids, but if you have an adult filled household this Christmas, and a dark sense of humour, then you need to watch In Bruges.
What starts out as a seemingly simple, “odd couple” comedy of a hot-headed young’un (Colin Farrell) and his older and wiser acquaintance (Brendan Gleeson) being forced to holiday together for a mysterious reason, actually turns out to be one of the most ingenious films I have ever had the pleasure of viewing.
Writer/director Martin McDonagh is the king of foreshadowing; although he leaves you wondering where the story is going, and why you should even give a damn about these two Irishmen, it all comes back around in the end with enormous, comedic payoff. From a dwarf on horse tranquilizers, to a drug dealer losing sight in one eye after having his own gun full of blanks used against him, you never know what bizarre road the film will turn down next. The best part? Ralph Fiennes. Nothing specific, just every scene he’s in, really.
But how is this a Christmas movie? I hear you ask. Well, the whole film takes place over a few days in Bruges (it’s in Belgium), and the time of year is – oh yes, you guessed it – Christmas. McDonagh never overtly draws attention to the holiday season; the devil is in the details. It works nicely though, having the festivities linger, but never come to the fore, as the film is really one, big existential crisis, and no time of year forces people to re-evaluate life more than the end of one.
Above all though, it’s a character piece, with its three Irish/British heavyweights masterfully bringing to life the meaty material. It’s so original. It’s completely insane. It’s absolutely, bloody brilliant. You owe it to yourself to settle down with a good wine, sit back, and watch this little beauty on Christmas Day.
Images courtesy of Icon Film Distribution