5. “Do I Have To?”
The opening five minutes of In Bruges are a masterful insight into Ray as a character – whether he’s hunched in his coat refusing to enjoy a boat ride or insulting American tourists – but it is the whispered argument about whether he should touch Jesus’ blood that truly highlights his petulance, and his reluctance to grow or experience new things.
Ironically, Ken looks ready to murder Ray, so incredulous is he at the childishness on display.
4. Harry’s Demise
It’s easy to argue that every character in In Bruges is detestable (apart from the lovely Marie (Thekla Reuten), of course), each of them guilty of murder, racism, theft and/or deceit. But most of them have at least one redeeming quality.
The success of In Bruges lies heavily in making Harry (Ralph Fiennes) the villain of the piece, the perfect antagonist. The man has no redeeming features. With Harry as contrast, it’s easy to forgive Ray and Ken of their obvious sins and want them to succeed.
When Harry thinks he’s made the same mistake as Ray, true to his word Harry pulls the trigger on himself. It’s all about honour, after all. In a film of few triumphs, Harry’s death feels like a real win.
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3. Harry and Ken’s Phone Conversation In the Hotel
In one of the few scenes where the humour doesn’t stem from something outrageous, Harry and Ken stumble over a tangle of crossed wires, and Brendan Gleeson’s mime acting is put to the test.
But then we see a glimpse of Harry’s erratic nature as he shouts, ‘all that beautiful fucking fairy tale stuff, how can that not be somebody’s fucking thing?’ then swings wildly back to dulcet reverie about cobbled streets.
Ken’s ability to calm Harry brings the tension back down, then Harry delivers the gut-punch: he needs Ken to kill Ray.
This scene has everything.