Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Sunday, 28 November 2010
After accidentally killing a child (Theo Stevenson) on a job, hitman Ray (Colin Farrell) is sent for a break with mentor Ken (Brendan Gleeson) to Bruges. In what he sees as the dullest place on Earth he eventually starts to enjoy it after starting a relationship with Chloe (Clemence Poesy), a beautiful young drug dealer. However, things are set to get bad when Harry (Ralph Fiennes), Ray's boss, comes to Bruges to kill him following the accidental killing of the child.
This film is most definetly a beauty when it comes to art direction and tone, with a consistently dark and tense atmosphere created through a dark and gritty screenplay; but there are also some well-written comic moments, especially in the banter between the Jack-the-Lad Ray and refined Ken, within the first half. The screenplay is quite brash and clearly Writer and Director Martin McDonagh didn't worry about causing offence, a good example being when Ray gets in an argument with a Canadian (presumed American) tourist (Zeljko Ivanek) in a restaurant, and knocks him out, snarling "That's for John Lennon, you Yankie f***ing c**t!" The amount of dialogue that is racially and politically incorrect is vast, to a sickening level, but that doesn't stop this from being a very good film, and only serves to make the screenplay more intense and gritty.
The screenplay, although very strong and meaningful, is really brought to dark and intense life by the superb cast. Farrell makes Ray's inner turmoil over the killing of the child very sincere and heart-wrenching, while Gleeson makes Ken's determination to save Ray very powerful and heartfelt, and the two make a superb double act, especially in the comic banter within the first half. Fiennes makes Harry a vile and vicious cold-blooded killer, full of anger and psychologically complex to a gripping level; and Poesy makes Chloe seriously gorgeous and seductive. Arguably, however, the most memorable performance is that of Jordan Prentice as dwarf actor Jimmy, who makes his character so aggressive and foul-mouthed, and uses the cockiness, rudeness and lack of height to create some great comic relief with his top-notch comic timing and delivery.
All-in-all, the screenplay is very well written, very tense, dark and gripping. However, without the film's superb cast the screenplay would not have come to such excellent life, and the cast work together so well to make this an excellent example of contemporary British cinema.
Stars: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clemence Poesy, Jordan Prentice, Jeremie Renier, Thekla Reuten, Anna Madeley, Zeljko Ivanek, Elizabeth Berrington.
Oscar nomination: Best Screenplay (Martin McDonagh).