The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything was fine in Inisherin yesterday. And there’s no reason to think that this remote island off the Ireland coast changed overnight. Especially for Pádraic, played by Colin Farrell, who we first meet as he strolls down the country roads to meet his best friend Colm, played by a brooding Brendan Gleeson, before heading to the pub. But when the good-hearted Pádraic finds a cold Colm, there’s no denying the island is different. Pádraic, confused by Colm’s distance, leaves for the pub with his head down, and even the bartender notices something awry. Once Colm finally arrives at the pub, he insists that Pádraic leave him alone (forever), saying, “I just don’t like you no more.”

The fallout between the former best friends is amplified by the orbiting cast of eclectic islanders, including Dominic, played by Barry Keoghan, and Pádraic’s sister Siobhan, played by Kerry Condon. This brutal, bleak depiction of friends drifting apart consumes the small community, rendering Inisherin unrecognizable by the end. This is typical director Martin McDonagh, and it works once again. 

The Banshees of Inisherin is an elegy to friendship. McDonagh masterfully crafts this grim reflection on the most cutting form of heartbreak, finished with furnishings of whimsical dark comedy and unrivaled banter between Gleeson and Farrell. (This film gifts us another look at the explosive chemistry between the two men, who starred in McDonagh’s beloved directorial debut, In Bruges.)

Farrell delivers a career-defining, heart-wrenching performance as Pádraic, chronicling not only a dissolving friendship but also capturing the character’s budding despair. And this despair steadily consumes the two characters and the island as heartbreak is mangled into resentment and bitterness. But Pádraic refuses to abandon this friendship, and in retaliation to Pádraic’s appeals, Colm threatens to cut off his fingers with garden shears. And he means it, giving Pádraic the finger. Told in isolation, The Banshees of Inisherin is a momentous fable that’s tethered to a familiar agony, and in the end, there are astonishing consequences. R, 109 min.

Limited release in theaters

Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.