Last night I went to see the movie In Bruges starring Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, and Brendan Gleeson. I knew that I was going to enjoy the movie, but I was not prepared for how moving it would be. The film was filled with hilarious dark humor, a mesmerizing soundtrack (thank you, Carter Burwell), and the weaving of a poignant narrative. It was easy to get caught up in the depth of each character as each actor performed so well.
When the movie ended I realized exactly why I loved it so much. The movie was written and directed by Martin McDonagh, my absolute favorite Irish playwright! I do not know how I let this information slip past me before I saw the film.
McDonagh has won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film (Six Shooter), a Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards for Most Promising Playwright (The Beauty Queen of Leenane), and a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play (The Pillowman). He has also been nominated for several Tony’s.
I was introduced to McDonagh’s work rather late. In 2005 my theatre class was assigned to read The Pillowman. The play follows the interrogation of a young writer after several children are murdered in the local town. I immediately fell in love with McDonagh’s dark imagery, twisted tales and rich symbolism. The Pillowman opened on Broadway in 2005 starring Jeff Goldblum and Billy Crudup.
McDonagh is a brilliant storyteller and I can only hope that In Bruges, being his first film, is not his last.