In Bruges 2008 movie

In Bruges – Seeking Forgiveness in the Old Belgium

Everyone deserves a second chance in life, or are their dutiful exceptions, as wondered by the protagonists of this strange 2008 crime comedy, In Bruges, a movie where the usual cinematic boundaries between good and bad guys seem to not exist from the first minute.

The lead characters in the story, Ray and Ken, are two hired killers sent into exile in Bruges, a charming medieval Belgian city, to hide after their last assassination, which ended tragically with the death of a child.

The younger, Ray, is a lost soul tormented by remorse and guilt, while Ken, in contrast, is a rational and thoughtful middle-aged man who finds in the peaceful town an unexpected oasis of calm and assurance.

Despite their friendship, their contrasting natures emerge during this time because of forced cohabitation, doing nothing beyond waiting for a phone call from their boss, Harry.

Ray gets into trouble with a beautiful local actress, who initially only tries to lure him into her apartment to rob him with a nazi partner, yet later develops a deep, romantic bond with the vacationing hitman.

On the other hand, Ken would like to enjoy the sights of Bruges’s art, architecture, and history, but the dreaded phone call from the boss ruins any good mood he may be in.

Indeed, Harry’s orders are clear: Ray’s mistake is unacceptable, and he must die; indeed, it must be Ken himself to kill him in the city so dear to his boss, who gave him a last vacation in the place he loved so much as a child.

Of course, Ken hesitates about what to do, disobeying orders, betraying the gang, or killing his best friend?

Meanwhile, Ray, increasingly depressed, begins to hatch suicidal intentions and could spare everyone the burden of this choice.

Few but solid movies

Martin McDonagh stands out as an extraordinary filmmaker and storyteller, although he still needs to get a large number of movies to his credit.

Nevertheless, each of his creations has a specific weight shining through as a singular jewel rather than just being filler to enrich his filmography.

His most notable recent cinema releases include Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, for example, two stories so different that, watching them, you might almost doubt that the same person is behind them.

Yet, looking closely, we notice McDonagh’s unmistakable mark in the intricate but simple narrative web and the equally linear but practical art of framing.

In Bruges is a 2008 movie likewise offering that strange entertainment skillfully dancing between the lines of drama and comedy with a finely balanced plot, blending the magical glamour of cinema with the harsh realities of everyday life into a unique cocktail that we swallow all in one gulp.

This story ventures with originality into the territory of atonement and redemption through its three protagonists, all part of the criminal world, allowing us to examine the world through their eyes, offering a perspective of hitmen outside the logic of our society.

Although they are assassins, each faces an existential crisis, enhanced by a series of unique and well-developed secondary characters swirling around them like satellites of three planets on a collision course.

McDonagh makes no judgments or reproaches about anyone, yet we can guess his answer to the mystery of life from the weird ending: we are all human beings, capable of doing brave deeds and also demonstrating disturbing cowardice.

In our character, light and darkness will never stop fighting, eternally in a struggle with no ultimate winner.

The harsh conscience of murderers

As mentioned, the real stars are the criminals, murderers on a kind of holiday retreat whose presence disrupts the ordinary quiet of little Bruges in this 2008 movie.

The group’s most quirky and vibrant figure is undoubtedly Colin Farrell as young Ray, exiled to a foreign land following a mistake that has left an indelible stain on his conscience.

Although his performance often tends toward excess, you can catch a glimpse of a smile in him that trembles with uncertainty, a reflection of deep remorse for the death of a child.

Ray desperately seeks refuge from guilt, stumbling into the romance idyll with the charming Clémence Poésy and the odd friendship with child actor Jordan Prentice.

Their cocaine party, during which they debate a hypothetical white/black global racial war, is, in this sense, the story’s most surreal and unsettling climax.

With a more tightly controlled and reflective approach, the character of Ken surfaces, masterfully played by Brendan Gleeson, a masterful actor who enriches every scene with charisma and the usual cool, irresistible irony.

Unlike Ray, Ken does not see exile as a condemnation but rather as a chance for a well-earned rest.

Ken’s tranquility is shattered, however, by the arrival on the scene of the boss, an unpredictable and violent man played by Ralph Fiennes, who further destabilizes the plot by giving Ken the order to kill Ray.

Fiennes delivers a villain performance oscillating between a stereotypical psycho criminal and a man ruled by a strict code of honor.

The boss follows this code with extreme dedication, never wavering or regretting his actions. Therefore, paradoxically, could he be the character with the highest moral consistency?

I leave such a judgment task to you, the viewers: watch this 2008 movie and form your own unique opinion about what happens along the streets of Bruges. However, I want to leave you saying how important it is to remember that, in some cases, morality maybe someone else’s choice, a burden that inevitably falls on us. Does that make sense to you?

In Bruges 2008 movie
Amazon Prime Video

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