the banshees of inisherin
starring: colin farrell, brendan gleeson, kerry condon, and barry keoghan
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them.
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.
At first glance the premise of The Banshees of Inisherin, the end of a bromance, seems far too simple to justify a nearly two hour long film. But this is Martin McDonagh after all, the director who masterfully crafted Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri and In Bruge, with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson the stars of that show too. What he has created here, alongside a great cast and creators, is arguably his best film yet (which is really saying something). The Banshees of Inisherin is both haunting and hilarious with Colin Farrell delivering one of the best performances of his career. One of 2022’s best.
It’s in the telling of the simple tale of a man not wanting to be friends with another where the laughter, heartbreak, and depth are to be found in this story. And as the film progresses you begin to realise most of the reasons why Colm has decided to get rid of Pádraic from his life, but there is also a sense of mystery as to why his resolve is so determined and so brutal.
Also, the action isn’t just reserved to Colm and Pádraic's relationship breakdown but the supporting characters are given a depth and humanity that is a rarity outside of a ten part streaming drama. This, along with cracking and memorable dialogue (some of the best in recent memory) helps the audience suspend belief, having them believe what is unfolding before our very eyes is real.
The island is also a character in itself thanks to the sumptuous cinematography of Ben Davis where you can almost taste the sea salt in the roaring, rushing air. Carter Burwell’s ethereal yet beautiful score (I’m listening to it on repeat at the moment) is yet another character, building and buffeting the audience at will.
Although the entire cast is superb, this is Colin Farrell’s film. Throughout his career Farrell has given some outstanding performances, but this is by far his best. He brings a simple sincerity which builds towards something quite differently throughout. Expect him to be a hot favourite come award season.
The Banshees of Inisherin is both haunting and hilarious with Colin Farrell delivering one of the best performances of his career. One of 2022’s best.