Ozzy Agu is watching "In Bruges" - IG Live May 18 @ 12.00pm EST/5.00pm WAT
Updated: May 18
What are you watching?
In Bruges, Martin McDonagh, 2008
Why did you decide to watch or re-watch this movie now?
Originally, I wanted to re-watch the Chinese masterpiece In the Mood for Love, but I couldn't find my copy on my computer. In its place was In Bruges, which I also loved when I first saw it years ago. It was fate. Such a great movie with so many moments. SO many lines! : "I'm American, don't hold it against me." Those were definitely the George W. Bush years—9/11 and the missing WMDs—when Europeans were not happy with American tourists for many reasons.
On first viewing, I remember laughing a lot. I loved the movie so much that whenever I met anyone from Belgium my next question was always something about Bruges. Yeah, I was that guy for about a year. I hope they all forgive me. Another classic line is the: "YOU'RE an inanimate object." I die every time. Not to mention the one comparing Tottenham FC to Purgatory. Kill me now, Lord Jesus!
The movie still holds up beautifully today. The two leads are to be quarantined together in a hotel room waiting for a phone call. Just waiting. Such a familiar sentiment these days. In addition to the comedic aspects, it packs quite an emotional punch. I didn't remember the deep pain and sacrifice neatly wrapped in all that surreal whimsy so I was pleasantly surprised again. There were moments when I had to reach for the tissue to, you know, to wipe my sweaty brow.
Describe watching the movie for the first time. How did this time compare to watching it for the first time?
The movie packs an emotional punch; hits as hard as the first time, if not harder. My guess is now I empathise more with Ken, played beautifully by Brendan Gleeson, needing to protect someone he loves deeply; 12 years ago I thought Ray (Colin Farrell) was the cool one of the two, but Ken is actually the cool one.
Were there specific moments in the movie that made you think: "Dang, I wish somebody was watching this with me?" What were those moments and why? If not, why was it suited to watching solo?
OMG, the ugly dog scene. Hands down. I wanted to look across at someone with inquiring eyes beaming, "What the bloody hell was that?!" And I identify as a dog person so I love dogs. But seeing it through Ray's perspective it comes across as the mangy beast of Bruges. Also, when Ken, wounded and alone, makes it back up the top of the bell tower and the first notes of "On Raglan Road" by The Dubliners ring out, mmm, I had to hold on to something. Would have been much nicer to lock hands with someone special. And catching structural story elements is more fun for two comparing notes as the end credits roll away. Take foreshadowing for example. The first time Ken is alone at the top of the bell tower and spots and unwitting Ray down below, he makes a hand gesture that really tempts fate. There's also a sweet reversal that gives us that great "You've got to stick to your principles" line from Harry (Ralph Fiennes) when he meets the punishment he metes out. Sweet irony. Sweet dripping irony. Director McDonagh is surgical with many more moments throughout the film and don't get me started on Three Billboards. The man is a master storyteller.
Tell us about yourself!
With a Double feature at BFI London Film Fest and a premiere at TIFF with The Lost Okoroshi (2019) and Walking with Shadows (2019), Ozzy Agu is a dramatic actor with a funny bone. Classically trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York, Ozzy has played roles from Shakespeare to Edward Albee as well as contract roles for MTV and Africa Magic TV. He loves to travel for work and cultural exchange, speaks Igbo and Thai fluently, and looks forward to one day joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Thor's other overlooked stepbrother Baldur.