One of the best ways to be comforted when you screw up and are whining about life, its meaning and how you DEFINITELY deserve more than Justin Bieber, is someone showing you the larger picture. ‘You may think your life sucks right now… But think for a sec – is it the absolute WORST that could happen to you? If not, stop being a f**king wimp.’ And just in case these cerebral words of wisdom don’t help make the pain easier, you should put on, what they call, a ‘black comedy’, sit back, and thank your stars your life isn’t THAT f**ked up.
In the black comedy genre, Irish writer-director Martin McDonagh’s movie, In Bruges, is a recent masterpiece. The 2008 film, that opened the Sundance Film Festival of the same year, and went on from being a limited release to a much critically acclaimed sleeper hit, took the ‘wrong man, wrong place’ idea and went to the pits with it. What’s the WORST that could happen, you asked? Try ‘killing a child…. accidentally’. Yeah… Ouch.
Colin Farrell plays Ray, the guilt-ridden hitman who’s seeking redemption for a crime he didn’t sign up for, while Brendan Gleeson (err… Mad Eye Moody from the Harry Potter films) plays his soft-hearted partner who’s trying to show him the light, even as he prepares for their next hit. Add to the mix, their foul-mouthed, sinister, but… umm… morally upright, gangster boss Ralph Fiennes; a dwarf actor who’s wild in his ways, Jordon Prentice; and a, sigh, ethereal production assistant, Clemence Posey, in whom Ray may see a reason to live; and you have a movie that makes you laugh and feel pity at the same time.
And while the premise and cast themselves make the movie a must-watch, director McDonagh also has a fantastic screenplay in place, that incorporates in it sharp twists when you least expect them. Yet, with all its thriller/crime drama/suspense elements, the movie’s pace never picks up from its ideal dramedy tempo – that gives you enough time to start caring deeply about the characters, tbut never lets you drift away from the film itself.
Watch the movie because it has enough depth in it to bring up questions on morality, and enough laughs in it to not let you feel weighed down by those questions. Also, you’ll definitely want to see what the deal is about being… in Bruges!
Starring: Colin Farell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clemence Poesy, Jordon Prentice
Written By: Martin McDonagh
Directed by: Martin McDonagh
Note: This recommendation first appeared in MTV Noise Factory, March 2011 issue
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