Tuesday, February 26, 2008

C.A.R.: In Bruges

(Capsule Arthouse Reviews are my attempt to better myself and practice movie snobbery by watching less mainstream movies and more independent films. Not a true review, they're mainly my thoughts on various small run films. I still give an opinion about whether the film is worth watching or not, but keep in mind my cinema taste is janky at best. You can also expect mild spoilers so beware.)

This is a really quirky, dark comedy. Unlike Juno, there's no doubt that this is a dark comedy. I definitely enjoyed the film.

The plot follows two English hitmen who have to lay low in Bruges after a hit gone awry in their native land. Bruges is a small medieval town in Belgium with plenty of preserved Gothic architecture and medieval styling. One of the hitmen, Ken (Brendan Gleeson), relishes this experience and soaks up the history of the town while the other one, Ray (Colin Farrell), spends his time wondering what he did to deserve ending up stuck in a backwater town in the middle of no where. Without giving too much away, things aren't exactly what they seem and there's a reason why the two men were sent to Bruges. (And no, the twist is not that of Hot Fuzz; there are no secret nefarious forces at work in Bruges.)

What surprised me the most about this film was Colin Farrell, who was by far the riskiest part of this film to me. Who knew he actually has talent as a comedic actor. He puts in a great performance as Ray, who essentially acts like a little kid for most of the movie. His characters reminds me of Lennie from Of Mice and Men. I suppose Colin Farrell is like Matt Damon, in that they both don't do comedy a lot but when they do (see the Ocean movies) they're surprisingly good at it.

One of the reasons why I enjoyed this film was because I couldn't predict the ending until the last 5 minutes of the film. I enjoy when a plot isn't obvious about what path it's leading you down. Of course, part of this is probably because the film is quite random in both plot and humor. I can understand if someone disliked this film for the exact reasons I like it. A good example of this is all the anti-American (and Candian?!) jokes, which I found hilarious. I suppose other people might be annoyed by the same jokes.

So should you see this film? I would recommend watching this if you like dark comedies or want to see Colin Farrell in a comedy. If you don't like offbeat humor or random plot points, then I'd beware. Even if it might not be worth it to you to catch it in theaters, renting it is always a strong option.