Hitmen/Postmodernism collide in historical Europe
Release Date: Feb. 8 (limited)
Director/Writer: Martin McDonagh
Cinematographer: Eigil Bryld
Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy
Studio/Run Time: Focus Features, 101 mins.
You know you’ve tripped into the ambiguous realm of Postmodernism when medieval Europe, midget jokes and ultraviolence converge into a seamless whole. Theater auteur Martin McDonagh’s debut feature, In Bruges, thrives on these stylistic clashes with its narrative of two sympathetic hitmen who seek refuge in a European wonderland full of tourists and irony. The ﬁlm excels, painting its story through the extreme juxtaposition of its subjects, with each contrasting plot element not only understood but felt visually. This technique pits staccato violence against the surreal camera pans of Bruges’ fairy-tale cityscape, projecting the internal conﬂict of hired killers Ken and Ray against their new, pacifying environment. The ﬁlm’s visual appeal complements irreverent and hilarious dialogue—timed brilliantly with the Anglo-Saxon bravado of Fiennes, Farrell and Gleeson—to produce one of this holiday season’s most pleasant dark-horse dramadies.
View the trailer for In Bruges: