fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

In Bruges

I had a couple of errands to run at the Fair City Mall today so took advantage of them to see the movie "In Bruges," which is playing at the Cinema Arts Theatre. (That is, by the way, not only the closest movie theatre to my house, but an excellent one, showing a mix of mainstream and art films. And it's an independent, which is really rare nowadays.)

Usually I see movies I've seen trailers for, but I chose to see this almost entirely based on reading part of a positive review in the Washington Post. The idea of two hit men laying low in Bruges was interesting, especially since that's a city that taught me something essential about travel (about which more later). I'm glad I didn't know much about the movie because I've now read some reviews, all too many of which are full of spoilers.

So I won't say much about the plot, other than that one of the two hit men absolutely hates Bruges, while the other sets off to do the whole tourist thing while awaiting further instructions from their boss. That leads to a surprising amount of comedy, as absurd situations keep coming up. I'm not giving anything away if I quote the line, "You can't sell horse tranquilizers to a midget."

There's a lot of violence and I really would not suggest anybody under, say, 16 see this movie. But it was both funny and provocative, while suspending some credulity at the end. I enjoyed it immensely and was surprised at how much I liked Colin Farrell as the younger hit man, who is negative about Bruges from the start. (I was less surprised at the fine performance by Ralph Fiennes as their boss, but I normally dislike Farrell.)

As for the city of Bruges, I went there with some skepticism. It was 1980, my first trip to Europe, my first trip alone outside the U.S., and my mother had gotten me a ticket from New York to Ostend, Belgium of all places on Van Hoek Airlines, complete with Mr. Van Hoek there to meet his plane on arrival. A Belgian woman on the plane had told me I should go to Bruges. Everybody I met in Antwerp (my first destination and a city I still think is woefully underrated) told me I should go to Bruges. The guidebooks said I should go to Bruges. I was, to say the least, skeptical, but I went to Bruges.

And I learned that often the places that are famous and highly touted are famous for a reason. It's a thoroughly charming city, a place that really does measure up to the guidebook hype. It was nice seeing it used as a film setting. I suspect that other people seeing this movie will be tempted to go there, in fact.
Tags: movies, travel

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