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Quick Review: The Banshees Of Inisherin
Everything Was Fine Yesterday
The following is my review for the film The Banshees Of Inisherin. A reminder, you can click this link to see how I score films when I review them.
Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship - with alarming consequences for both of them.
Five years ago Martin McDonagh’s previous directorial effort in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri took him to coming *this* close to having a movie that won Best Picture. Now five years later he has his latest with The Banshees Of Inisherin which already has been getting hyped up as a surprise heavyweight contender for Best Picture.
As with his previous efforts, McDonagh gives us a dark tale but somehow always pulls off enough levity to balance with the darker sides of his story, with his great skills to write witty dialogue and create a cast of colorful characters. This is a story about a friendship devolving, about how meanness can infect and spread and hurt people who aren’t even directly in the line of fire, about coming to terms with one’s mortality and legacy they leave behind, and of how we can hurt ourselves even when we get caught up in trying to hurt others.
Colin Ferrell as our lead protagonist Pádraic is great, as he is able to nail down a character who might be too nice for his own good but also forgets what that kindness can offer others. Brendan Gleeson as Colm, the man Farrell’s character so desperately wants to be friends with again, delivers such an equally stoic and equally depressing role as a man who we’re baffled by at first but if you hear him out you realize he is more afraid than angry. Kerry Condon as Pádraic‘s sister, Siobhán, is incredible as perhaps the town’s only truly logical citizen. And more praise should be coming Barry Keoghan’s way as the tragic village idiot Dominic.
The movie’s darkly comedic tone does eventually end up in a very dark third act and I would warn that it could be this part of the movie that doesn’t work for some. We go from laughing at these two men acting like children towards one another to gasping as the dark comedy becomes almost like a folklore forewarning of what pride can do to a man. Its here where Gleeson is able to show his character’s humanity and Farrell is able to show his character’s breaking point.
I have to admit that I wouldn’t rank this as good as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and if it does make it into my “Best of” list at the end of the year it’ll likely be lower than higher. But this is still another 9 from McDonagh and with this he could truly start to make his mark among modern day auteurs.