Review: The Banshees of Inisherin

Banshees of inisherin

From playing two hitmen in In Bruges to two friends whose friendship crumbles down brutally in The Banshees of Inisherin and every role in between. Yes, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson have been taking the world by storm since 2008, and they have us in their grip each time. That grip becomes even more intense when writer/director Martin McDonagh (Seven Psychopaths) guides them (not that they need much guidance anyway). You can already guess what you can expect from The Banshees of Inisherin, but we still want to explain it to the people at the back.

The Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Gleeson as Colm and Colin Farrell as Padraic in The Banshees of Inisherin
// Credit: 20th Century Studios

When a lifelong friendship ends in violence and pain

In his latest movie, McDonagh takes you back to Ireland in 1923. A time during which not only the battlefields rumble but also the lifelong friendship between Padraic (Farrell) and Colm (Gleeson). While Padraic fills his simple life with walking, living with his sister and enjoying a pint at the local pub, his Friend Colm wants a more meaningful life. This different opinion on life hasn’t become a problem until now. One day Colm informs Padraic that he wants to end their friendship because there’s no time for silly conversations and hours in the pub. Instead, he wants to lead a more meaningful by focusing on writing music and more important issues.

At first, Padraic doesn’t believe it and tries to hold on to their friendship, but Colm is headstrong and wants to ensure his ex-friend backs off. The results in violence, a tense relationship and Colm cutting off one of his fingers until Padraic would finally get the message. Padraic resorts to the other two prominent figures on the island, the troubled kid, Dominic (Barry Keoghan), and Padraic’s worried sister, Siobhan (Kerry Condon), but will they able to help the friends out before their relationship takes the darkest turn?

The Banshees of Inisherin
Colin Farrell as Padraic and Barry Keoghan as Dominic in The Banshees of Inisherin //
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Never change a winning team

Suppose you’ve seen Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, or In Bruges; you know that McDonagh’s writing is always on point. Whether it’s the dark humour, an incredibly witty conversation or an honest and poignant moment, whatever is going on, it’s been heightened even more due to the stunning script. It’s precisely what you get and need in The Banshees of Inisherin. He finds the perfect balance between humour and darkness, between the joys of friendship and family connections and what happens when all those relationships are at a breaking point.

However, no matter how great the writing is, his ensemble is even better. The Banshees of Inisherin again prove that McDonagh has an eye for bringing actors together who create magic on screen. While there are no weak links in this movie, this film absolutely belongs to Farrell (The Lobster). Padraic’s different character traits come through beautifully and balanced. Whether it’s the more naïve, innocent, loving side or the more determined, broken and selfish personality, you always root for Padraic. The sympathy for him fades off a little bit, but that’s because you probably come to understand why Colm would want to end the relationship.

The Banshees of Inisherin
Kerry Condon as Siobhan in The Banshees of Inisherin // Credit: 20th Century Studios

Gleeson (Calvary) gives Colm the perfect amount of harshness, darkness and impressiveness. One stare from him or one look at him, and you instantly know what Colm is going through. While we don’t see many supporting actors at the beginning, they get a more prominent role throughout the movie. This result in Keoghan (The Killing of a Sacred Deer) almost becoming the lead in this film because his performance as the funny, vulgar and lost Dominic is highly poignant and vulnerable. The stunning Condon (Gold) performance also brings more humanness and recognizable emotions to this movie.

An honest, brutal and dark portrayal of a broken friendship

After being praised at the Venice Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and most recently, the BFI London Film Festival, The Banshees of Inisherin is now making its way to U.K. and Ireland. From the 21st of October, you will be able to watch an honest, brutal and dark portrayal of a broken friendship, told by an incredible writer and stunning performances, and we suggest you do it.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

The Banshees of Inisherin will be released in U.K. and Irish cinemas on the 21st of October.

Also Read: The Films of Martin McDonagh

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