Friday, 25 April 2008
One of the great things about working for yourself is that you can slope off every now and again and go see a movie. Which is precisely what I did today, finally catching up with Martin McDonagh's In Bruges. Reviews had been mixed, some were wildly positive, others had called the film, his debut feature following his Oscar-winning short Six-Shooter, uneven. It is that, but when it works it's quite brilliant. Wildly funny, deeply emotional, and very, very black, In Bruges is all those and much more besides. As suicidal Irish hitman Ray, dispatched to Bruges with fellow assassin Ken (Brendan Gleeson) following a hit gone wrong, Colin Farrell hasn't been this good before, while Gleeson is his typically dependable. The film delights in this odd-couple pairing — Ray thinks Bruges is a "shithole"; Ken laps up the culture — and their verbal sparring, and McDonagh doffs his cap at a plethora of cinematic, literary and artistic references. But what I loved most was the film's unpredictability, a quality seldom present in mainstream cinema but running through the spine of this savvy, smart, frequently hilarious film.