In Bruges DVD & Travel Review, by Sabrina Dersel

In Bruges DVD & Travel Review

Directed by
Martin McDonagh

Written by
Martin McDonagh

Colin Farrell as Ray
Ralph Fiennes as Harry
Brendan Gleeson as Ken
Clemence Poesy as Chloe
Eric Godon as Yuri
Elizabeth Berrington as Natalie

“Get the fuck out of London, you dumb fucks! Get to Bruges.”
I didn’t even know where Bruges was.
[pause] Ray: It’s in Belgium.

For many, it is a true fact not many of us know where Bruges is!
I don’t have excuses though as I am French, but for sure the movie made me want to visit this little pitoresque town…so I did!

One hour away from Brussels, Bruges is the holy land of beer and chocolate, with Beers beers beers everywhere!

But first a little note about the movie:
‘In Bruges’ is a 2008 British black comedy-drama film written and directed by Martin McDonagh. The film stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two hitmen in hiding, with Ralph Fiennes as their gangster boss. The movie is an endlessly surprising, very dark, human comedy, with a plot that cannot be foreseen.
I won t give spoilers away so please keep reading…

Colin Farrell needs no introduction, so I will focus more on Brendan Gleeson. You
most probably have seen this incredibly talented actor in support roles, for example Troy “King Menelaus”, Harry Potter “Alastor MadEye Moody”,28 Days Later,
and Braveheart, just to name a few.
I am actually waiting for the week end to check out “The Guard”, which has been highly acclaimed.

The film was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and both Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell were nominated for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy,which Farrell won at the 66th Golden Globe Awards ceremony. McDonagh won the Best Original Screenplay award at the 62nd British Academy Film Awards in February 2009.

So here we are, Andrew and myself are on the train to Bruges, between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and after checking at the hotel, with “In Bruges” movie posters
at the entrance, we head to the city centre, just five minutes walk away!

If you still crave chocolate left after Xmas then you’re in the right place! I highly advise “The Chocolate Line” shop (, with exciting chocolate creations: The Chocolate pills medecine lookalike bottle catches my attention in one second! Putting myself in line to get served I take a selection including Wasabichocolate, Cannabis, red wine, Vodka and so on…
With the lil plastic pouch in hand, follows a stop at one of the Xmas market stalls with Hot mulled wine, Christkindl Gluhwein.
Chocolate and wine in ten minutes, you can’t go wrong!

At the end of the street stands the Belfry; a bell tower, and instantly this quotes from the movie pops in:

Ken: Coming up?
Ray: What’s up there?
Ken: The view.
Ray: The view of what? The view of down here? I can see that down here.
Ken: Ray, you are about the worst tourist in the whole world.
Ray: Ken, I grew up in Dublin. I love Dublin. If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me but I didn’t, so it doesn’t.

The queue to get in is massive and the prospect of 366 Steps to get to the top isn’t a big enough motivation. So back to the market we go and have a nice portion of Tartiflette (potatoes cheese lardons white wine).

You can get a nice view of the “Markt Bruges” square from the balcony of the Historium,inside a very nice gothic building. I will exempt the details of more walking and shopping more Beers and Chocolate to tell you about a very cool pub called “The Crash” Rock-café on Langestraat 78. It is a nice cosy place with its own smoking booth! Hard Rock and Heavy playlist and all served by a friendly and easy to talk to Barman “Jeroem”…the rest is history!

Ray: One gay beer for my gay friend, one normal beer for me because I am normal.

Then it is time for Ribs & Beer restaurant ( ; Now prepare yourself for some mindblowing ribs, ”Ribben a volonte” eat as much as you like too!
Choose between or have them all : Chef’s special rub, Beer & chocolate Served ,Smokey Barbecue sauce ,Spicy Barbecue sauce.What a delight! We finished with some Irish Koffie’s, which made the walk back to the hotel quite entertaining!

The following day, with already a massive hangover, it is back to the road we know, involving more chocolates, hot wine…and the 2be BEER WALL.
The Beer Wall is easy to miss as you walk down the busy shopping street of Wollestraat that leads off of the central Market Square. Admire the massive beer wall with hundreds of beers behind a glass screen, each sitting next to a glass with the name of the beer printed on it. Something which Belgians are so particular about. It is a great location to drink,next to the canal with a wonderful terrace. Amen!

It is now time for some Culture and The Groeninge seems like the best place to go.
The Groeninge showcases works by legendary artists as Hieronymus Bosch, Magritte, Jan van Eyck, among many others, and Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson found themselves happily occupied between takes strolling about the galleries.
Broadbent marvels, “It’s almost unheard-of for a movie shoot to be able to film in real galleries with so many valuable pictures.
If you’re a fan of Bosch and go to Bruges to see this painting, watch out, it is lent to Lille in France till end January 2013.
P.S: I had to stop at the gift shop and buy the puzzle to stop myself getting into depression!

[looking at a surreal Bosch painting] It’s Judgment Day, you know?
Ray: No. What’s that then?
Ken: Well, it’s, you know, the final day on Earth, when mankind will be judged for the crimes they’ve committed and that.
Ray: Oh. And see who gets into heaven and who gets into hell and all that.
Ken: Yeah. And what’s the other place?
Ray: Purgatory.
Ken: Purgatory… what’s that?
Ray: Purgatory’s kind of like the in-betweeny one. You weren’t really shit, but you weren’t all that great either. Like Tottenham.
Ray: Do you believe in all that stuff, Ken?
Ken: About Tottenham?

A bit more culture with the visit of Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilige Bloed Basiliek). The upper chapel contains a venerated phial said to contain a cloth with blood of Jesus Christ, which is housed in a silver tabernacle.

Ken: Up there, the top altar, is a vial brought back by a Flemish knight from the Crusades in the Holy Land. And that vial, do you know what it’s said to contain?
Ray: No, what’s it said to contain?
Ken: It’s said to contain some drops of Jesus Christ’s blood. Yeah, that’s how this church got its name. Basilica of the Holy Blood.
Ray: Yeah. Yeah.
Ken: And this blood, right, though it’s dried blood, at different times over many years, they say it turned back into liquid. Turned back into liquid from dried blood. At various times of great stress.
Ray: Yeah?
Ken: Yeah. So, yeah, I’m gonna go up in the queue and touch it, which is what you do.
Ray: Yeah?
Ken: Yeah. You coming?
Ray: Do I have to?
Ken: Do you have to? Of course you don’t have to. It’s Jesus’ fucking blood, isn’t it? Of course you don’t fucking have to! Of *course* you don’t fucking have to!

A “fairy tale telling town” is how an emphatic Harry, the mob boss of In Bruges describes it, and indeed Bruges is a city full of “beautiful fairy-tale stuff.”
It was a city of contradictions-host to one of the most spectacular banquets in medieval times and the inspiration for Hieronymus Bosch’s hellish visions Bruges, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe!

Ken: I know I’m awake but it feels like I’m in a dream…

Or I’m about to pass out because of all the alcohol and sugar abuse! Bye Bruges…