In Bruges (2008)

“In Bruges” (2008)


Bosch, midgets

*** spoilers ***

About 2 years ago, i watched and commented on a belgian film, called Moscow, Belgium (Aanrijding in Moscou). It came to me out of the blue, at a film festival, and it pleased me so much in how different it was as a film experience. Somehow, it was a film detached from conventions, relatively away from the genre rules of that type of film, at least Hollywood rules. But it had the appeal of the audiences, and had it been spoken in English or Spanish, and it certainly might have had a different impact. Unpretentiousness was how i named my comment. No i watch this film, and it produces a similar effect. And it takes place in Belgium as well. And because this one is spoken in English, and has well known faces, it falls in the sweet spot that i thought Moscow might have fit in. I wonder if Belgium, as a place, has anything to do with that.

Now this is quite a different film. It has a very tight strong writing, as controlled as the environment where the whole film takes place. It all takes place within that environment, and the first really interesting thing is how, with one (important) exception, all the important plot points that happen along the story are mapped into the places of the city that we’d been introduced early, when the hit men were simply sightseeing. The tower, the hotel, the film set. We get to the city with the characters, and we see it through their eyes. The fundamental plot point that is told to us through flashbacks is what allows for the story to derive into the other world of the noir genre where the film ends. The killing of the child is what we learn. What that fact does is to trigger all the events that make the characters meet what they are supposed to meet. So, the great thing here is how the film derives from genre to genre. From the laws of comedy (f***ing Brugges) to the point of hard men hunt. The dramatic shift is subtle and really rare to watch, and it magnifies the power of the ending.

The crucial element that allows this is, of course, the film within, the film being shot in Brugges. It intersects the narrative several times throughout the film, and we even have actors from that film (the midget) interacting with our main actors. The midget aspect is very talked about. We pass through the set, Farrell even meets the girl on it, and we are told the film has something to do with Bosch. And of course, at the end, the larger film, the one we’re watching moves literally to the set of the inner film, at the time when we no longer live in the comedy world, and the two remaining characters meet their fate in a totally different dramatic world, on the set of the inner film, taking the midget with them.

This is remarkable writing which, nevertheless, is only allowed by a solid direction which allows the actors to freely express, under a controlled environment.

My opinion: 4/5

This comment on IMDb



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