After originally being released in 2008, In Bruges has become a deserved cult classic amongst film lovers and while it is mostly remembered for its dark, politically incorrect and straight-to-the-point comedy – particularly from Colin Farrell‘s character Ray – it’s also a super smart, reflective and sharp people study from Director Martin McDonagh, as the guilt-ridden Ray and his partner in crime Ken (the also outstanding Brendan Gleeson) hide out in Belgium after a job goes badly wrong back home.
Having run to Bruges, after their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) tells the pair to lie low, Ken takes hold of the situation and pretends to be a tourist, taking in the sights and trying to occupy Ray who’s unsettled, bored and an inspired mix of naive and frustrated with the situation they find themselves in. But things change after he’s excited by a film set and bowled over by dwarf Jimmy (Jordan Prentice) and, within that moment, he meets Clémence Poésy‘s Chloe and is instantly enamoured.
So while Ray is distracted, Ken receives the orders they’re waiting for from their boss Harry but it’s not something he wants to hear… as he’s instructed to kill Ray due to his unforgivable mistake. From this moment on, Ken has to fight against what he’s been asked because he knows that he cannot see through on his given orders, and so the waiting for Harry – their boss – seems like the only inevitable outcome, and he’s not going to be happy when he arrives.
In Bruges remains a superb black comedy, darker than you can ever remember but still bang on the money in terms of being funny, intelligent and even downright wrong, from time-to-time. The childlike innocence and openness of Farrell’s character is what charms us through the film, even when you know the reason he’s here and the bad thing he has done, you find an unusual attachment, even with his flaws and internal psychological battles.
Gleeson’s Ken is also an exquisite opposite of Ray, self-controlled and thoughtful, wanting to take the moment as it comes but then in severe denial (with a serving of self-righteousness) when it comes to what he has to do. Both performances are captivating, full of depth and downright bonkers – all in one. In Bruges is one of the finest cult classics of recent times and deserves all the plaudits, it’s a fantastically refreshing take on the genre and just as fresh to watch now, more than 10 years since its release. Outstanding filmed, perfectly performed and one to re-watch, time and again.
This Second Sight release also gives it a whole new lease of life with beautiful artwork from Thomas Walker and a mountain of exclusive extras on the Limited Edition Blu-ray. You also get 50-page soft cover book of the screenplay, McDonagh’s Oscar-winning short film Six Shooter and a load of featurettes that go further inside the making of the film with people from right across the production, it’s remarkable!
In Bruges is out now on Limited Edition Blu-ray from Second Sight – Buy it here: https://amzn.to/2Z8LaKc
• Six Shooter: Martin McDonagh’s Oscar Winning Short Film in HD
• Shoot First, Sightsee Later: A New Interview With Director of Photography Eigil Bryld
• Finding the Rhythm: A New Interview With Editor Jon Gregory
• Finding Bruges: A New Interview With Production Designer Michael Carlin
• The Alcove Guy: A New Interview With Actor Eric Godon
• When in Bruges – interviews with cast and crew and on-set footage
• Strange Bruges – interviews with cast and crew and on-set footage
• Deleted Scenes
• Boat Trip Around Bruges
• Gag Reel
• Optional English subtitles for the hard of hearing
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:
• Rigid slipcase featuring new artwork by Thomas Walker
• Faber and Faber screenplay with exclusive cover artwork by Thomas Walker
• 50 page soft cover book with new writing by Ian Christie, Dr Eamonn Jordan (author of From Leenane to LA: The Theatre and Cinema of Martin McDonagh) and Bomb Magazine archive interview with McDonagh.