DVD of the Week – In Bruges (2008)
by HELEN GEIB
One of the best films released so far in 2008 is now available on DVD. If you missed In Bruges when it was in theaters, pick it up now and give it a chance. If you’re like me and saw it and liked it in the theater, pick it up and revisit it. I can attest it’s well worth a second viewing.
In Bruges has suffered the all too common fate of serious films: highly misleading marketing. To look at the cover of the DVD, one would think the film was a light (if deservedly R-rated for language and violence) comedy. It’s not a lie to say the film is funny. It is, very.
But the film is not comedy but tragicomedy, and its genius lies in its extraordinarily deft balance of light and dark, flippant humor and intense emotion, the profane and the sacred. That wide-ranging mix of story elements and tones is perhaps the film’s defining feature. Seemingly contradictory elements happily co-exist within single scenes, the story as a whole, and the rich characterizations.
The second principal point of excellence of this excellent film seems to me to lie in the perfect marriage of performance and material. Colin Farrell is phenomenal in the challenging lead role and is more than ably supported by Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, and the rest of the fine cast.
Features include deleted and extended scenes, four short features, and a gag reel.
New releases this week: The Band’s Visit, Doomsday, Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Never Back Down, Shine a Light, Surfwise