A pair of hitmen hole up ‘In Bruges’, Belgium, and wait for a call. I think we can all agree that it’s hardly a mind-blowing premise.
Yet, In Bruges manages to hit the whole gamut of human emotion, and does so with three brilliant central performances.
Every emotion is exactly where it needs to be and handled with great care. When it’s funny it’s darkly hilarious. But when it’s sad, Jesus. Then there’s the introspective state of the story and it’s characters. The state they end up in ends up being oddly life-affirming too.
Directed by Martin McDonagh, it definitely has some similarities to one of his other films, Seven Psychopaths. In Bruges hangs together far more comfortably though. Perhaps it’s the smaller cast? Farrell and Gleeson form a great partnership, bickering but ultimately caring for each other. Their rather inane conversations are actually very illuminating about their characters. In lesser hands it could have come off as dull.
As I think about it I’m struggling to figure how it does all of it so well. I’ll admit to be being initially weary, but once I’d settled in with this group of generally ropey individuals I didn’t want to be anywhere else. Bruges was a great place to be, albeit very dangerous.