Prison, death, it didn’t matter. Because at least in prison, and at least in death, you know, I wouldn’t be in fucking Bruges. But then, like a flash, it came to me, and I realized, “Fuck, man, maybe that’s what Hell is. The entire rest of eternity spent in fucking Bruges!” And I really, really hoped I wouldn’t die. I really, really hoped I wouldn’t die.
-Ray, In Bruges, 2008
Shunning happy hour at one of my new favorite B-more haunts in favor of some lazy, antisocial time at home after finishing a busy two week anatomy and physiology course, I spent a Friday night in, folding laundry and watching one of my favorite movies of the past few years, In Bruges. For those who are not familiar with the film (to whom I recommend renting it)… two hitmen, Ray and Ken (played by a brilliantly sensitive Colin Farrell and the always incredible Brendan Gleeson, respectively), are sent by their boss, Harry (Ralph Fiennes), to hide out in Bruges and await further instructions after a botched job in which Ray accidentally killed a little boy. Ken is eager to take in all of the historic sights of the city, while Ray is wracked by guilt and pissed off that they have been sent to Bruges, of all places. Guilt and morality, drug dealers and dwarf actors, arguments with American (or Canadian?) tourists and Hieronymous Bosch paintings come to life… bizarre hilarity naturally ensues.
Though Ray asserts that hell would be an eternity spent in Bruges, the film has put Bruges (and Belgium as a whole) on my radar, and I tend to side with Ken and Harry in falling hard for the charms of the canal-lined medieval city center- It’s a fairy tale fucking town, isn’t it? How can a fairy tale town not be somebody’s fucking thing?