newmans_own's Movie Review of In Bruges

Rating of

In Bruges

An Introduction to a Major New Voice in Film
newmans_own - wrote on 02/09/08

Renowned playwright and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Martin McDonagh makes his feature film debut with IN BRUGES, a smart and tight thriller that will astound some while irk others. McDonagh is a very self conscious writer and director and immediately adapts to the realm of feature length film, introducing himself with a brash, take-it-or-leave-it style. In one scene, the famous one-shot opening sequence of “Touch of Evil” plays in the background. It is no small coincidence that the scene surrounding it is one extended shot as well.

But the film’s main strength, and the thing that will have people talking, is its dialogue. Showing absolutely no restraint, the words the characters say are deliberately designed to shock and certain to offend many groups of people. Yet none of it is meant seriously, and all of it adds expertly to the film’s dark and edgy humor. Obesity, retardation, dwarfism, race and ethnicity are all ruthlessly dragged through the mud. Expletives abound and derogatory terms muttered every minute, yet the film grows funnier every time a new line comes around that tops the others in its lewdness and sheer audacity.

The cast takes what they are given and have a ball, each member of the ensemble relishing in their roles. Of particular note is Farrell, who offers surprising heart and genuine emotion that keeps the film from being completely cynical. The film’s only major fault is its missed opportunity to develop Poesy’s beauty and charm into a truly substantial character. While she has a few intriguing quirks, she serves the purpose of being supporting love interest and nothing more. The film’s shocking violence and surprising humor make it a must-see, certainly for anyone who want to catch the beginning of a major talent coming into his own.


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