In The Banshees of Inisherin, folk musician Colm Doherty suddenly stops talking to his lifelong friend Pádraic Súilleabháin. When Pádraic questions why Colm is ignoring him, Colm simply tells his former friend he doesn’t like him anymore.
Over the next few days, Pádraic makes attempts to reignite his friendship with Colm, but to no avail. Colm wants to be left alone to work on his music, and feels that Pádraic is too dull and his boring conversation is wasting his time.
No matter how many times Pádraic approaches Colm, he can’t convince him to change his mind. But the whole situation baffles Pádraic, who misses his best friend terribly, and can’t quite understand why he is being ignored.
Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, and set in 1923 toward the end of the Irish Civil War, The Banshees of Inisherin stars Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, and Barry Keoghan. The movie is a drama-comedy, which was released in cinemas back in 2022, but is currently available to stream on Disney+ for those who missed it.
And if you haven’t got around to watching it yet, then now is the time to give it your attention. The movie looks at loneliness, sadness, and the onset of change during a divisive time in Irish history, all told through an intelligent and humorous lens.
The premise of the film might be simple, but the characterisation and the richness of the story shine through. This picture works the way it does because it builds upon its themes and characters to create a curious tale steeped in tragedy and comedy, and this is where it really hits its mark.
The movie also benefits from a picturesque setting, using Inishmore and Achill Island to provide the backdrop for the fictional location of Inisherin. This film is gorgeous to look at, with its rural setting becoming an important of the story, and the sprawling hills and coastal outlook help ensure the movie feels believable, even during some of its more absurd moments.
In terms of casting, leading the film are Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson who play the two former friends. Gleeson is great as the curmudgeonly Colm, but it is Farrell who is the stand-out player in this picture as Pádraic.
Farrell has had a strong run of films recently, including Thirteen Lives and his unrecognisable turn playing The Penguin in The Batman, but he takes it up another notch with The Banshees of Inisherin. He wears Pádraic’s sadness, confusion, loneliness, and heartache on his sleeve, in arguably one of his best on-screen performances.
The actor has already won a number of awards for his part in this film, and I expect he will pick up a couple more moving forward. This is an understated turn from Farrell, but one which fits in perfectly with the film, and it’s great to see he is getting the industry recognition he deserves.
As for the story, there is a subtle depth to the narrative which brings a range of emotions, and embarking on a journey with this film will take you back and forth between laughs and melancholia. Sometimes the film has a rawness to it, while at other times it has a gentle warmth.
It’s neither fully one thing nor the other, but rather a tapestry of tones, feelings, and conversations. The Banshees of Inisherin is real life laid bare, with all of humanity’s secrets, oddities, and unexplainable situations being brought to the surface.
And with some great dialogue, a delightful score from Carter Burwell, and fantastic support roles for Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan, the movie hits just the right note. This is a great film, so be sure to take a look.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review on It’s A Stampede!. For more reviews, check out the recommended reads below.
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