Aldous Huxley is reported to have said that ‘We participate in tragedy; at a comedy we only look’.
In Bruges is a beautiful, subtle film that is constantly dancing back and forth across the line between comedy and tragedy, and it makes for an excellent film.
It tells the story of two hitmen, hiding in Bruges after a hit gone wrong. The hitmen themselves are brilliantly lethal – the sense of death is very real – but also very human, taking out their contacts and brushing their teeth before they go to bed. As the narrative unfolds, Bruge is a very active backdrop, that shifts with perspective. For some it is a fairy tale, for others it is a nightmarish purgatory, where sins weigh down the living.
The storylines are subtly woven in this piece, and they come together beautifully. The dialogue is excellent as well, and in combination with the acting hilarious at points – but it blends seamlessly into the tragic at others.