The Banshees of Inisherin is a 2022 black comedy drama film written and directed by Martin McDonagh. The film follows lifelong friends (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) who find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship; Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan also star.
The Banshees of Inisherin begins with a simple premise. Colm (Gleeson) refuses to be a friend to Pádraic (Farrell) anymore. However, this basic idea escalates as neither Colm or Pádraic agree to compromise on their respective decisions. This bloody-mindedness on both sides inevitably lead to tragic consequences and turns to feuding.
Set at the end of the Irish Civil War in 1923, it’s not difficult to see parallels with the declining relationship between the two men. Sure, some might argue that the analogy is heavy-handed but we feel that it is apt and relevant. We prefer to see The Banshees of Inisherin as an absurdist tragicomedy of the highest order. The behaviour of the two men in the circumstances seems silly but their sheer obstinance overcomes all sense of logic.
Considering the bleak setting – a village on a fictional Irish island where nothing much happens – where the lush country landscapes clash with the bitter, bored and depressive mindsets within its populace, the minimalist story-telling conveys the power of the message. Unlike The Whale, which was revelling in its tragedy, and turning its protagonist into some kind of sainted martyr, the film does not shy away from depicting the two main characters as somewhat self-absorbed and anti-social. Utterly unlikeable.
In the final analysis, The Banshees of Inisherin is an essential film for 2022, surely one of the year’s best. A triumph of minimalist film-making – a panacea to all the empty bombast that Hollywood regularly shovels our way. Highly recommended!
Watch now on Amazon.
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