So this will be the, oh, fourth time I’ve had one of my favorite professors, Professor Orloff, and I’ve never hated one of her classes. In fact, I’ve loved every one of them (There’s a reason she’s 99 percent going to be my adviser for my department paper). You see, she knows A LOT about the movie industry because she’s worked in it as a publicist and her parents were in it and she’s part of the Academy and a million other reasons. Thanks to all of that, we watch and analyze a lot of movies in her classes (Okay, so two out of the four classes have been film classes so it makes sense). And they’ve been some good movies–Little Miss Sunshine, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, Tropic Thunder, and more. But out of all the movies I don’t think I have loved any more than the most recent one we watch. Professor Orloff gave me a new favorite movie–In Bruges.
Let me start out with one of the reasons I loved it (And why all my nerdy friends loved it): there are three actors from Harry Potter in the film. Ralph Fiennes (aka Voldemort) plays the head hit man Harry (Ironic his name is Harry, I know). Brendan Gleeson (aka Moody) plays Ken, Harry’s employee and somewhat friend. Finally, Clémence Poésy (aka Fleur) plays Chloe, the lead’s love interest. Let me put it this way–He Who Must Not Be Named is an amazing actor. I’m sure I’ve probably seen something with him in it prior to Harry Potter but I never paid attention (Yep, The Reader and Maid in Manhattan), but this was the first time I’ve actually noticed his acting abilities and they blew me away. My friends and I all have the same favorite scene in the movie and we talked about it after watching. It’s the first time you see Harry on-screen and he has just been told by Ken that he will not complete the job that Harry gave him. In fact, he sabotaged it so that the person Harry wants dead, he won’t be able to find. This whole conversation happens over the phone and when Ken hangs up, Harry stands there for a minute looking at the phone. There’s just this tense feeling as he stares at the phone. You can literally see the anger rise through him until it reaches the point where he starts beating the phone against the desk, breaking it to pieces. Everyone in the movie was really good but he steals the scene in every one that he’s in.
Speaking of the actors, this may come as no surprise if you look at the cast list but another reason I liked this movie a lot is because Colin Farrell is in it. I’m not a big fan of many movie actors–especially well-known ones–but he’s an exception to the rule. He plays the lead in the movie–a hit man who works for Harry and is suicidal (It’s a dark comedy, in case you didn’t guess). To be completely honest, before watching this, I cannot think of a single movie with him in that I really liked where I thought he did a brilliant job acting (Okay, for any other reason than I got to watch him). That includes Fright Night (OH MY GOD! That was terrible), Miami Vice (The plot was terrible)…Oh wait, I may have just done an IMDB search and have been corrected. I really liked Horrible Bosses but that wasn’t because of him (Jason Bateman is adorable) and American Outlaws (That WAS because of him but the plot was awesome, too). This showed a different side of his acting though. We are used to him being the action hero (whether it be in present times or ancient times). And as for him being funny, he tried in Fright Night but nothing could save that movie. Horrible Bosses was really funny but he was in it like a whole 10 minutes if that. He was not the reason that movie was funny…and they purposefully made him not really, really hot. In In Bruges, he was really, really hot (I have a thing for glasses and there’s this scene where he’s wearing glasses…don’t get me started) and he’s funny. You are probably only going to find it funny if you like dark stuff and things with lots of profanity but I cracked up the whole movie (I like that kind of humor). Colin pulled off making himself funny despite being suicidal and he made the character sympathetic. I know that the way Ray was written, he was supposed to be sympathetic but I think if the acting was bad, it could have ended badly.
The main reason we watched this movie is because we are in a screen writing class and Professor Orloff wanted us to see how to make sure we pay everything off in our scripts–something that In Bruges does amazingly well. Every single seemingly random event we could think of was paid off in someway. The fact Jimmy was in the movie is paid off in the end. The fight between Colin Farrell and the Canadian couple. The Americans that Ken and Ray fought with. The scene between the ticket man at the bell tower and Ken is paid off later on between the ticker man and Harry. The fact that Marie, the hotel owner, is very pregnant (No, it has nothing to do with her actually having the baby). The fact Harry is adamantly against killing kids. The fact Ray shoots the robber in the eye with the blank. I don’t want to give anything away but all of these things that can be easily overlooked and just considered fat in the script get wrapped up somehow. As our professor put it, there is no fat in this script. Nothing happens without it having a purpose in the end. I know my script is very far from being as good as this and, therefore, I was in awe once we started talking about it and seeing exactly what she meant. The screenplay lost to Milk for Best Screenplay in 2009 but I think that was a big mistake. Mostly because Milk was based on something that actually happened whereas In Bruges was an original, which is something we rarely see these days in the film industry (It’s always a remake, re-envisioned, re-released, based on a book, based on a TV show, based on something. Okay, I know that it has similarities to a one-act play and has references to something else says Wikipedia but it’s still more original than Milk).
Overall, In Bruges got really positive ratings and reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 82 percent and IMDB gave it 8 out of 10 stars. Everyone in our class (Okay, those who issued their opinion, which was all but maybe one person) loved it. Kellie may have gone home and watched Disney since it was too dark for her but she still liked it. Stacy liked it so much she’s been quoting the first scene with He Who Shall Not Be Named over and over again. This one is definitely on my list of movies to buy. And it will be very soon. And all my friends will be forced to watch it. But they’ll like it…or at least, suck it up (Though, I’m 99.9 percent sure they’ll love it).