This is not a movie review as such, more just some ramblings after watching the film for a second time.
Me and my fiancé are planning a trip overseas and are wanting to go to Bruges and so this movie was inevitable fodder and research and on our minds. I always find it interesting how a movie can shape ideas about a place, for better or worse. I'm sure Bruges can thank their lucky stars for the film since it is now a booming tourist hub. It helps when a Hollywood hit shows of the beauty of your previously obscure town. The place is now, happily for us tourists, brimming with hotels. Also, the hotels there seem to be of a high standard, at least if you put any weight in booking.com's user reviews...
I really loved the score of the film. I was actually listening to it on Grooveshark the other day. Composed by Carter Burwell, is gives a lovely weight to the film and an effortless sense of beauty, melancholy and hope - strong themes in the movie. Also the song selections were equally well chosen and used. It is a pet hate of mine when a movie has a bad score. And by bad I mean overly evocative of the wrong emotions. I mean, the whole point of a score is to enhance the emotions of a film and if it brings up the wrong ones, well then that is just useless. It has surprised me how many films have oddly bad scores. How on earth does that even happen? With the amount of money that goes into a major motion picture, the chances of a less-then-brilliant composer being chosen and then proceeding to get a shitty score past the gatekeepers boggles the mind. Of course, I can't think of a fitting example right now but I recall my recent shock and murderous rage at how unwatchable the music made what should have been a sad drama completely comical and uncomfortable because of it's bouncy joviality. It was an odd experience watching that film. Must try think what it was. Anyway...
Another thing that bugs me is shakey camerawork. Yes, I know handheld camerawork is a creative choice but there was too much shake, almost jitter, in places. C'mon people, this is not guerilla film-making. Use a fucking tripod. This was made all the more noticeable when placed amongst stable and beautifully composed shots. A person favorite that my eyes just ate up is the shot of Ralph Fiennes and Brendan Gleeson walk away from the cafe where they were on the edge of klling one another and Gleeson telling Fiennes he's just a great big massive cunt. Very funny dialogue and beautifully delivered. That scene of them walking away to the town square - with the twinkling lights in the distance, the out of focus flowers in the foreground and the lens just resting on the empty glasses on the table as the two characters walk away from camera to duel to the death - it's just gorgeous. And not unbearably bloody shakey!
Colin Farrell gives a lovely performance of a man twisted up with grief, regret, violence and self-doubt. I love his jumps from child-like innocence and foolishness to deep self-hatred and confusion then right back to cocky bravado. Brilliant.
A little sad, a lot of fun and touch of whimsey, this is a great movie. It reminded me a little bit of Sexy Beast: though it is very different indeed, there's the dark comedy, the hitmen, the delicious british accents and the sense of being dropped into the twisted lives of a few characters only to watch them make a mess of the place and entertain you wonderfully along the way.