When In Bruges …

“For two weeks? In fucking Bruges? In a room like this? With you? No way.”

Theatrical Release Poster

It might be a repellant concept for Colin Farrell’s character in the film In Bruges, but it certainly makes for a wonderful movie. In the vein of “Lost In Translation”, the film similarly documents the escapades of two semi-awkward foreigners (in this case, British assassins) in a foreign city (Bruges, not Tokyo. I know, came out of the blue, that one). Farrell plays Ray, who obviously isn’t very enthusiastic about sightseeing (“Ken, I grew up in Dublin. I love Dublin. If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me but I didn’t, so it doesn’t.”) Ken, played by Brendan Gleeson, takes the opposite view, indulging in all the sightseeing he can, and dragging Ray around with him.

In Bruges is a feature-length film that views like a short, but with lots more stuff crammed in. As the film takes a turn for the violent, it becomes more of a Lost In Translation/Pulp Fiction hybrid, except with all white people and, of course, in Bruges. (Hope I’m not giving too much away.)  During a pivotal chase/gunfight scene, I got the feeling that fully half of the camerawork was still meant to show off the beautiful scenery.

Oh yes, and Ralph Fiennes swears. A LOT.

Below is a list of the things I learned from this movie.

When In Bruges:

  • Make sure to do cocaine with midgets… er, dwarves. Even though you’ve been warned that he’s been taking horse tranquilizers.
  • Never assume the douchebag sitting next to you is American, and accidentally knock both him and his girlfriend out, regardless of whether or not she comes at you with a bottle or even knows karate. He’s probably a vengeful Canadian who will get you killed.
  • Be a prostitute — you’ll make more than you did in Amsterdam.
  • Make sure you know someone who you can buy horse tranquilizers from. They’re a good excuse not to greet people on the street. Except maybe horses.
  • When under great stress, the dried blood of Jesus reliquefies.
  • Don’t do anything in half-measures. If you’re going to blind a man by shooting blanks into his eye, at least do it to both eyes.
  • As long as you can introduce it in a charming way, pretty girls are all right with dating hired killers. Also, if you moan a lot about how you never thought a “girl like her” would “actually be into” a “guy like you”, she’ll give you a kiss before she takes her half-blind ex-boyfriend/con partner to the hospital to get an eyepatch. Which will then give you an opportunity to steal drugs from her, which she won’t mind even though it’s high-grade cocaine and ecstasy. And possibly horse tranquilizers.
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