Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In Bruges: Martin McDonagh Hates Children

Who the hell is Martin McDonagh? He's a writer turned film director, of course.

I've been thinking about writing a review for this movie that I saw back on Saturday, but I've been too lazy to get around to it until now. I might have written it yesterday, but I felt the need to share the news on our Writing Level 5 show's title "Lasers From Heaven" since people voiced strong opinions on them in the comment section. Something about a cracker.

Anyway, the movie: In Bruges.

It's not playing everywhere, unfortunately, but it was a good time so if you can find it playing somewhere, I'd recommend seeing it. I even remember there being a moment while watching the movie where I thought to myself "I'm really enjoying this." That's relatively rare for me unless it's a balls-out comedy, which this isn't quite. It's a action/crime/comedy/drama and it's pretty dark at moments.

Basically, it's about two hitmen who are hiding out in Bruges, a city widely considered the lamest in all of Belgium (which is widely considered one of the lamest countries in Europe) because the younger hitman (Colin Farrell) accidentally shot a little kid while knocking off a priest. They're in town to wait for further instructions from their shadowy boss, presumably until the heat dies down, for their next steps, leaving the young hitman to think about what he's done, meaning drink and chase local women, while the older hitman (Brendan Gleeson - you know: Professor Alestair Moody from the Harry Potter movies! [nerd!]) does a little sightseeing. Let the shenanigans begin!

Of course, being the comedy nerd that I am, I particularly enjoyed some of the comic construction. I don't want to give too much away, but the shadowy boss, played by Ralph Fiennes, is the head of some type of hitman service which employs the two main characters. For the beginning half of the movie, all you get of him is his voice on the phone and a note. By the time you meet him, he's beating the hell out of his telephone and having a temper tantrum in his office. His home office, with his wife and kids in the next room. I just love the idea of the head hitman being a family man.

Fun premise, entertaining execution and, in my opinion, a pretty solid ending; it's got some well earned comic moments, some violence, suicide, a chase scene and drug usage. All in all, a pretty successful viewing experience.

I did come to one conclusion about the writer/director, Martin McDonagh. He also wrote a play called The Pillowman, which is a favorite of mine and which was at Steppenwolf last year. The play features descriptions of graphic violence perpetrated on children a la Grimm Brothers style story telling. In this movie, a child is accidentally shot during a hit. My conclusion? Martin McDonagh hates children. Of course, I can't prove that violence towards children is in everything that he's ever written, but I've seen enough to draw my conclusion: Martin McDonagh hates children.

Of course, what does it say about me that I dig his play and movie?


Anonymous said...

thank you for keeping all harry potter references to yourself during the movie.........dorfs!

Anonymous said...

I regret having to to make a comment that isn't about boobs or shit crackers, but I think Martin McDonough is one of the most original voices out there right now. I was blown away by The Pillowman (read the play then saw it at Steppenwolf), and he made quite a decent short film that was Oscar nominated last year (can't remember the name and too lazy to look it up.) I'm really looking forward to see In Bruges, hopefully soon.