Top 20 Movie In Bruges (2008) ranks 11th in Matt Lynn Digital’s Top 20 Movies in ranked order listing. This gem as directed by Martin McDonagh holds the distinction with Calvary (2014) as the second movie in the Matt Lynn Digital movie listing to include a McDonagh brother as director. John Michael McDonagh directed Calvary, which starred actor Brendan Gleeson.
Gleeson co-starred in In Bruges as Ken, the senior partner to guilt-stricken hit man Ray as played by Colin Farrell. Bruges is the town in Belgium where ruthless boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) banishes Ken and Ray to await further orders. It is through the cantankerous relationship between these two that we later learn why Ray is guilty. The hit that Harry sent these two went horribly wrong when Ray botches a hit on a priest by killing a young boy in the process of killing the priest.
The comedic brilliance of placing Gleeson and Farrell as Ken and Ray in Bruges is that the city itself is so full of history and vacationing possibility. Ray simply cannot bring himself into the mood of a trip of a lifetime because he’s so straddled with guilt. For Ray, drinking away his feelings is the only thing on his mind following the murder, beyond following the orders by Harry to sit tight.
The comic relief of the side characters brought into the story adds a degree of light humor that works well for being juxtaposed to the serious turmoil that Ray is experiencing. These characters later play a role in why Harry ultimately orders Ken and Ray to stay put. Namely, Harry aims to rectify killing the boy in the hit by bringing about Ray’s demise.
Like Calvary, In Bruges has a component of dark humor. Like Calvary, In Bruges is bloody, touches on religion, and deals in vengeance. Both movies are emotionally tense while aiming to hit you with ethical questions of a film noir variety that ask you to contemplate if morally ambiguous things can still be subject to a morality, even or especially after violating a basic tenet of something that we can grant is wrong…that murder is murder, and the act of accidentally killing a kid doesn’t abdicate murdering a priest.
In Bruges is our eleventh (11th) ranked film. I recommend that you see it.
Matt – Monday, March 27, 2017