Banshees of Inisherin

Written and Directed by Martin McDonagh

Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan, Pat Short, Gary Lydon, David Pearse, Sheila Flitton.

In early 1923, of the coast of Ireland, on the small island of Inisherin, soft natured farmer Pádraic (Farrell), learns his lifelong friend Colm (Gleeson) no longer likes him, and doesn’t want to speak to him anymore. When he tries to push through his friend’s tough exterior, the latter warns him that if he continues to try, there will be dire consequences.

Farrell has always been a fine actor, and has done great work in the past. The last few years he has gone from strength to strength. This is his career best, and his transformation through Pádraic journey is nothing short of flawless. He will be a tough contender to beat if he is nominated at the Oscars this year. (as I write and post this, the 2023 Oscars have not yet been released).

Gleeson, who is paired with his In Bruges co-star once again should also be commended, especially as he wrote the music for his characters story arc, and is a true musician just like his character. Colm’s gruff exterior, and perhaps interior could not have been played by anyone other than Gleeson.

Condon, as Siobhán, the sister of Farrell is his safety net, and she commands every scene she is in. Her caricature is remarkably progressive, and played to perfection. She is able to stand toe to toe with the tough Colm, and she is quite possibly the MVP of this film.

As with all McDonagh’s other films, the score is by the incredible Carter Burwell, and here it is once again stunning. It is at often times feels optimistic as it follows Pádraic’s journey when he is trying to keep his friendship afloat, and      utterly dynamic and intense, especially after that scene takes place.

The setting is flawless, and it really feels as though we are within the era it is set. The cinematography is from another long time collaborator of McDonagh’s, Ben Davis. He marvels at showing the isolated village island. The scenery is absolutely stunning, and the (fictional) island of Inisherin itself becomes almost a secondary character itself.

I understand now why this movie was so well received.  Having been a fan of several of McDonagh’s previous works, I was keen to watch this, and I am glad I was able to. This is a marvelous film. That being said, it is not his best film, nor his worst. He has yet to make a bad movie in my opinion.



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