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Pyrmont Film Review: In Bruges

pyrmont film review Pyrmont Film Review: In Bruges Our film buff, Denieal Williams, recently went along to see In Bruges. Check out her review below. If you have seen the movie, we would love to hear your thoughts Pyrmont.

Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s feature film debut, In Bruges, can’t quite decide what it wants to be. The film vacillates between Tarantinoesque violence and language, misplaced action, awkward comedic instances and a seemingly tacked on love story. All of these moments arrive in the narrative well before there really is an established connection between the audience and the two hitmen Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson).

Hiding out in the medieval city of Bruges, Belgium, the protagonists sight see while awaiting their next assignment from their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes). Ken relishes this opportunity for ‘culture,’ while Ray pouts and complains, delivering a barrage of awkward and often hilarious one liners. The comic interplay between the childish Ray and the Father-like figure of Ken is what makes this film, as it has a shaky plot at best and a frustrating conclusion.

At first Ray’s tough city guy bravado makes it seems like he can take care of himself. But can he? Early on it is revealed that the quirky and at times dimwitted Ray is plagued by a dark secret. It is this secret combined with the relationship between the two hitmen that leads to some of the touching and at times sentimental moments of the film.

We are supposed to love this goofy and haunted character of Ray. This is a challenge at times, when not twenty minutes in, it becomes clear that Ray can’t make a point without being offensive to a variety of minority groups. Unfortunately this type of humour isn’t only limited to Ray’s character. One might actually manage to completely enjoy the film–despite plot challenges–unless of course they are black, gay, retarded, a dwarf or fat. In that case, the fact that yet again an off beat Indie film chooses to offend in order to shock, may fail to amuse.

Enter Chloe (Clémence Poésy), a character with a few secrets of her own as the hastily added love interest of Ray. Their connection fails to be entirely convincing and is seemingly contrived to balance the barrage of violence that colours the rest of the film.

The backdrop, scenic Bruges, with its cobblestone streets and Flemish architecture is the butt of many jokes, yet the ‘sh**thole’ aspect of Bruges never quite comes across and the audience is treated to stunning views of gorgeous architecture.

Nonetheless despite some of the glitches in plot, the performances of all the actors, particularly Farrell still manage to make it a worthwhile film.

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