'The Banshees of Inisherin' Review: Martin McDonagh's twisted dramedy is one of this year's best
If you are having problems pronouncing the title, don't worry, you are not alone. After 2017's highly-acclaimed crime drama 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri', filmmaker Martin McDonagh has made a stellar comeback with his latest movie 'The Banshees of Inishrein'.
The movie mainly focuses on the lives of two friends, Padraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson), who are living on a fictional island called Inisherin. Set in 1923, the duo enjoy their lives by talking and going to the pub every afternoon at 2 pm. However, everything changes when one fine day Colm decides to ignore Padraic completely and tells him that their friendship is over. Padraic can't believe what his friend is saying, but Colm is serious about it and doesn't want Padraic to be around him. Padraic is a simple soul and doesn't care about the Irish civil war. He lives with his unmarried sister Siobhan (Kerry Condon) and spends his day just having a chat with other people. Meanwhile, Colm is a no-nonsense guy and wants Padraic to stay away forever because he wants his music to be exceptionally nice and wants people to remember him through his music. So, he doesn't want to listen to Padraic's bulls***.
If you are a fan of McDonagh's previous works, then you know that his movies start off really quirky and as they move forward, they get really dark. 'The Banshees' is just like that and probably, his best after 'In Bruges'. The twisted dark humor and the unique filmmaking style of McDonagh make this movie such a wonderful watch. Apart from being a great director, McDonagh has repeatedly shown us how talented he is as a writer and 'The Banshees' is the perect example of how he mixes humor with a lot of pain.
This is the second time Gleeson and Farrell are playing friends in a movie. In 2008, the aforementioned actors starred in McDonagh's 'In Bruges' and it was all about the amazing chemistry between Gleeson and Farrell. Although they don't spend nearly as much time on screen together in 'The Banshees', but it was really important for the script to showcase the differences they were having and why Colm didn't want to see him.
This is undoubtedly Colin Farrell's film. He gives an extraordinary performance as Padraic and perfectly captures the pain of losing the only friend he has in his life. It's probably one of his finest performances ever. On the other hand, Gleeson is just magnificent as Colm. The look on his face is of a man who has stopped looking for excuses to live his life without any purpose and wants to leave something back when he dies.
Meanwhile, Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan as Siobhan and Dominic are fantastic. You just cannot take your eyes off them when they arrive on the screen. This movie is packed with splendid performances and amazing dialogues.
Overall, 'The Banshees of Inisherin' strikes the perfect balance between sadness, shock, and comic relief. As the movie progresses, it starts to feel like an epic battle between kindness and silence that's so haunting in nature. It is one of those movies that might trigger deep reflection and the pain that comes with the idea of losing someome who is so close to you.
An extraordinary return for McDonagh.