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In Bruges

Updated on July 6, 2012

If you are not from Europe, you probably never heard about Belgian city Bruges before recent Colin Farrell movie "In Bruges". In fact, Bruges (Brugge in Dutch), one of the most beautiful and well preserved medieval cities in Belgium, is a popular destination for tourists not only from Europe but from all over the world. First of all, you have to see the movie. And, not only for an incredible medieval scenery of Bruges, but also because it is a well done movie and an extremely well written story.

So, here we are, in a quite European city of scenic canals and charming 19th century buildings (Bruges is called "the Venice of the North"). But for two hit men Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) , it could be their final destination; a difficult job has resulted in the pair being ordered by their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) to go and cool their heels in the storybook Flemish city for a couple of weeks. So, Ray and Ken fill their days living the lives of tourists in Bruges, exploring the gothic architecture, charming canals, and cobbled streets. Ray hates the place, while Ken finds his mind and soul being expanded by the beauty and serenity of Bruges. But the longer they stay waiting for Harry's call, the more surreal their experience becomes, as they find themselves in weird encounters with locals, tourists, violent medieval art, Dutch prostitutes, and a potential romantic partners. And when the call from Harry does finally come, Ken and Ray's Bruges vacation becomes a life-and-death struggle of darkly comic proportions and surprisingly emotional consequences.

Well, that's the plot of the movie "In Bruges". It is written and directed by Martin McDonagh, previously acclaimed for his Broadway play "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" (if you ever have a chance to see the play, you must). "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" (the play is originally from London) was one of the most hilarious and surprising plays on Broadway for last two years. In his filmmaking debut "In Bruges" Martin McDonagh maintain his affection for "the comedy of words and wounds" and once again proves his talent for words and jokes. Great dialogues, unexpected turns, unique characters and wild situations - everything is as a good black comedy should be. And the ending that you should see for yourself! For most of the film we are following Ray and Ken around Bruges, listening in on their discussion. If you thing that it is boring, thing again. McDonagh's original dialogues plus Bruges' beautiful scenery makes movie very thrilling to watch. Even if you not a big fan of dark comedies, you would definitely love Bruges' scenery. The city is so magical, that it is impossible not to fall in love with.

For those who love the view of Bruges and never been there, it is a great idea to include the city into your next trip to Europe, or just to go there for a long weekend. What can be better than spending a couple of nights in the one of charming unique Bruges hotels, having a champagne breakfast in the morning, a boat trip on the canals in the afternoon and a horse carriage trip through the city in the evening. One thing is for sure - whatever you do in Bruges, stroll the streets or visit art museums, eat Belgium waffles or drink Belgian beers - you would feel like you are in a different world, maybe in a fairytale or a movie!


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    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 

      5 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear wanderlust,

      Have seen the film and it was excellent - talking of Brendan Gleeson have you seen him in the film "The Guard"? Another excellent one to watch.

      My wife and I are lucky to live in Kent so we can nip down to the channel tunnel in the morning, be in Brugge in a couple of hours for lunch ( try Tom Posse just off the square) than back to the French/Belgium border for some cheap shopping, then another couple of hours to home and feet up- it's a rough life isn't it!!!

      Well written article voted up and interesting.

      Kind regards Peter

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 

      8 years ago from The English Midlands

      I have never been to Bruges, but would love to go. I have read about it ~ and seen that film ~ but, so far, my explorations of the city have been purely of the 'armchair' variety.

      My Mum went on holiday there, though, and thought that it very interesting & attractive.

    • Wanderlust profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New York City

      The hotel where Ray and Ken stayed really exists. Some shots of the hotel were filmed on the hotel-set in a studio, other scenes were filmed in the hotel itself. The name of the hotel is Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce, located at Wollestraat 41-47, 8000 Brugge, Belgium.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Anyone know the name of the place Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson were filmed staying at????

    • julieannevanzyl profile image


      10 years ago from Gold Coast

      What a beautiful city!! Coming from such a country like Australia, where buildings are so "new", this is fascinating for me.

    • networkgenie profile image


      10 years ago

      Wow...that's almost about all I can say! Excellent and very informative of Bruges, Wanderlust. I must say I'm very much impressed. Definitely gives me the idea of including a trip to Bruges, should I consider going to Europe for vacation anytime soon. Thanks for the hub page!


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