This 2008 action comedy is also one of the best Christmas mo…

A man embraces a woman in Bruges.
Focus Features

Martin McDonagh is behind some true gems among the rogues seven madmen for last year’s tremendous Banshees of Inishrein, However, her now-iconic career began with a small 2008 film that turned 15 earlier this year. in Bruges Oscar nominee Colin Farrell stars as Ray and Brendan Gleeson stars as Kane, two hitmen who hide out in the picturesque city of Bruges after a job goes terribly wrong.

time has been kind in Bruges, considered by many to be one of the finest black comedies of the 21st century. However, the film has received a second, more specific reexamination as an unexpected, yet satisfying Christmas classic. A biting, occasionally brutal and tragic black comedy about two lonely hitmen might not be in anyone’s idea of ​​a holly, jolly Christmas movie – alas, and against all odds, in Bruges That’s all. Why? Well, for starters, it’s set at Christmas. However, the film’s holiday connection goes deeper than that.

What makes a great Christmas movie?

Michael Caine and The Muppets in The Muppets Christmas Carol.
walt disney pictures

To understand in Bruges‘Positioning as a great Christmas movie, one must first understand what makes a great Christmas movie. This isn’t necessarily the setting, as many movies can be spiritually Christmas-coded – think. Lars and the Real Girl, you’ve got Mailor something like that iron Man 3, It’s not even holiday cheer, as so many Christmas movies are remarkably sad. It also doesn’t stick to a well-established formula, as many Christmas classics aren’t afraid to experiment within those confines.

No, that’s the definition of a great Christmas movie Emotion It reveals; Every Christmas classic is sure to make you feel something. Most embrace nostalgia, memories of a wonderful time when everything was innocent and carefree, or pure and unadulterated joy – ’tis the season, after all. However, holiday movies can also be mournful, celebratory, romantic, naughty, or cozy. It doesn’t matter what emotions they evoke; The important thing is that they awaken something in you. This is the primary aspect of a great Christmas movie: more than entertaining, they connect with their audience, actively trying to worm their way into a person’s heart.

Of course, not all of them do this, but most succeed, at least for the time between title cards and credits. Think about the constant influx of Hallmark movies that come out every year — they make you feel something: longing, joy, cringe, you name it. You might forget about them once the TV is off, but they still leave a warm feeling inside. But best of all is leaving behind something that truly lasts, a flame that goes out from January to November, only to be rekindled once the turkeys are consumed and the flickering lights are turned on. When it comes to holiday entertainment, emotion is the name of the game.

So, is In Bruges really a Christmas movie?

In the film In Bruges, Ray and Ken are talking in a pub while two beers rest on the table in front of them.
Image via Universal Pictures.

well yes. Think about the first time you saw it in Bruges, Doesn’t it feel like a gift just waiting to be opened? You think you’re watching a black comedy about two hitmen, and you are; However, there is much more to unpack with it. The plot is as surprising as it is diabolical, a never-ending series of surprises, some pleasant and some nasty.

McDonagh’s plot is incredible and unexpectedly fast-paced, wasting not a single minute of the film’s 107 minutes. More importantly, he finds the perfect balance between genuine humor and surprisingly piercing drama bordering on tragedy, a unique ability that not many writers possess.

A hit man and a priest confront each other in Bruges.
Focus Features

In addition to evoking the emotions necessary to qualify as a Christmas film, in Bruges Contains many of the main thematic chords found in the best holiday classics. basically, in Bruges It’s about making the best out of the worst situation. Bruges is the film’s punching bag, but the real meaning comes from Ray’s journey filled with guilt and depression. in Bruges This is a film that tries to rediscover happiness, pulling itself out of the deepest pits of despair and toward something more hopeful. What better place to set it than Bruges, somewhere between Heaven and Hell?

in Bruges It’s also about another eternal Christmas theme: forgiveness. Ray’s struggle to forgive himself is compelling, if not necessarily sympathetic, even less relatable, especially considering that his crime is the murder of a child. But the film treats his journey with tremendous emotional depth, allowing us to follow along. Because he doesn’t apologize for his actions, we don’t either, and watching him fight to avoid his punishment, even though he knows full well he deserves it, is fascinating, thought-provoking, and interesting.

I’ll be in Bruges for Christmas

In the movie In Bruges, Kane was sitting at a table on the street drinking beer,
Image via Universal Pictures.

Like the best Christmas movies, in Bruges Stays With You: It’s a biting, absurdist comedy; It’s a sad but strangely hopeful mood; This is an unbroken, sour and sweet desolation. in Bruges It is an excellent study of the treacherous side of human nature and its insistent will to survive. The film examines human connection at all its levels – friendship, romance, companionship, and the meaningful bonds we form with strangers. In more ways than one, in Bruges Examines the power of solidarity and human connection in a person’s life. One’s trajectory can change at any moment, even when one is hiding, trying to escape life at any cost.

It is true that in Bruges The Christmas element is not required to exist – nothing about its plot requires holiday cheer to function. The story could be set in the summer, and there would be nothing different except an abundance of tourists which would make things worse for Ray. However, it requires the holidays to awaken within us, the audience, something akin to understanding and empathy – after all, would we have the same reaction to Ray if not for the bizarre Christmas atmosphere surrounding Bruges? Maybe because of the holiday spirit we feel more compelled to connect?

In Bruges Trailer (2008) | Colin Farrell | Focus Features | throwback trailer

in Bruges This is no ordinary Christmas movie, that much is true; However, as it turns out, it’s an effective one. So, if your mind is set for cheesy romance, magical antics, and animated thrills, why not spend 107 minutes with two messed-up hitmen trying to make the best of a really terrible situation? in BrugesLike its namesake city, it’s not for everyone, but those who discover its unique charms will undoubtedly find something rewarding in it.

in Bruges Available to rent on Amazon Prime in the US and Canada,

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