I dare any Irish person to watch The Banshees of Inisherin and not recognise themselves or someone they know in this story. Director and writer Martin McDonagh has created another masterpiece.
Set on the Island of Inisherin, lifelong friends Pádraic (Colm Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson) find themselves in the centre of a dilemma when Colm abruptly ends the friendship, much to the shock of the entire Island. Pádraic refuses to accept that Colm could suddenly just decide not to be friends anymore and is determined to put an end to this childish feud. With the help of his sister Siobhan (Kerry Condon) and friend Dominic (Barry Keoghan) they try and repair the relationship. Yet the more Pádraic tries with Colm the worse it gets until Colm is pushed to give a rather dramatic ultimatum with shocking consequences. That’s more than enough on the plot, if you haven’t seen the trailer then keep it that way and just get to a cinema to see it for yourself.
For all the Martin McDonagh fans you need to know that The Banshees of Inisherin is definitely more on the bleak side. Although classed as a black comedy, it’s far more dark and melancholic than comedy. Don’t expect the same amount of laughs compared to some of his other movies such as In Bruges and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. As to be expected the story is balancing between humour and serious topics, in this case depression, despair and mental illness. You’ll be laughing one minute and disturbed the next. It’s not afraid to pull at the heart strings and will provoke a strong reaction from the audience. It’s definitely a unique story that will stay with you long after the credits has ended.
The cast is small but makes an impact, each playing their part brilliantly. Colin Farrell particularly stands out and reminds us just how good of an actor he really is. Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan are also giving hugely memorable performances so it’s no surprise the entire film has received so much awards buzz already. It’s honestly a relief to watch an Irish film that actually got Irish actors and not a bunch of actors sounding like leprechauns. It’s authentic for the time, especially the dialogue and doesn’t play too much into the stereotypes.
McDonagh is the perfect choice for writing stories that tackle dark issues and inserting comedy among quite depressing topics. The Banshees of Inisherin is a brilliant film, hilarious and bleak. It’s one of a kind and definitely one of the best this year. Highly recommended for everyone.
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