Time: 114 Minutes
Age Rating: Offensive language, nudity & content that may disturb
Colin Farrell as Pádraic Súilleabháin
Brendan Gleeson as Colm Doherty
Kerry Condon as Siobhán Súilleabháin
Barry Keoghan as Dominic Kearney
Director: Martin McDonagh
On a remote island off the coast of Ireland, Pádraic is devastated when his buddy Colm suddenly puts an end to their lifelong friendship. With help from his sister and a troubled young islander, Pádraic sets out to repair the damaged relationship by any means necessary. However, as Colm’s resolve only strengthens, he soon delivers an ultimatum that leads to shocking consequences.
I was very interested in The Banshees of Inisherin. I really liked Martin McDonagh’s movies, and his latest would have Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson (who are reuniting with McDonagh after In Bruges back in 2008). It’s one of the best movies of 2022.
Martin McDonagh’s writing is amazing as to be expected, and Banshees has one of the most layered and complex screenplays of the year. The story seems simple, with it focussing on a friendship slowly and realistically fading away. However, this simple concept turns into so much more, especially with the effects that come from the falling out of the two friends. It is a tragicomedy, on the one hand it has plenty of levity and it is funny with some witty and excellently written dialogue, but it also has some darker moments. The mixing of these two worked. However, I do think it leans more into the tragedy than the dark comedy compared to say Seven Psychopaths. While it is funny, the film is melancholic, existential and bittersweet; it is about human inner turmoil, friendships, loneliness and despair. So far, I think that this is McDonagh’s most mature and emotional film, more subtle and relatable than his past movies.
Everyone in the cast gives excellent performances. Colin Farrell gives potentially his best performance yet, so layered and with many subtleties. Very funny, yet tragic and vulnerable. Brendan Gleeson is also great in one of his best performances too as a character equally complex, and he brings a lot of gravitas when he’s on screen. As expected (given their on screen duo in In Bruges), there is a great on screen dynamic between the two. It was interesting seeing their friendship play out, and Farrell and Gleeson play off each other in interesting and emotional ways. Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan are also amazing in prominent supporting roles.
Martin McDonagh’s direction is solid but makes sure that it doesn’t overshadow the story or the performances. The cinematography is wonderful, all the shots of nature are wonderful and makes great use of the beautiful landscapes on this little island on Ireland. This is McDonagh’s best looking movie yet. Carter Burwell’s score is great, so beautiful and haunting, it adds this ominous feeling and mysterious vibe throughout the whole film.
The Banshees of Inisherin is a beautiful, layered, darkly funny, and emotional tragicomedy. With a script and story that’s beautiful and chaotic yet sad and intimate, and with outstanding performances from the cast (Farrell, Gleeson, Condon, and Keoghan), it’s one of the best films of 2022 and potentially Martin McDonagh’s best movie.
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