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The Banshees Of Inisherin (15)

Cast: Pat Shortt, Barry Keoghan, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Colin Farrell
Genre: Comedy
Author(s): Martin McDonagh
Director: Martin McDonagh
Release Date: 21/10/2022
Running Time: 114mins
Country: Ire/UK/US
Year: 2022

Dairy farmer Padraic lives on an island off the coast of 1920s Ireland with his sister Siobhan and every afternoon, he shares a drink down the local pub with fiddler Colm. Out of the blue, Colm tells Padraic that he no longer wants to be friends or even trade pleasantries. The unexpected rejection sends confused Padraic into an emotional tailspin and has catastrophic consequences for the islanders including police officer Peadar and his sweetly simple-minded son Dominic.


LondonNet Film Review

The Banshees Of Inisherin (15) Film Review from LondonNet

Writer-director Martin McDonagh trades three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri for a fractured friendship off the coast of 1920s Ireland in a deliciously barbed comedy with the potential to draw blood at next year’s Academy Awards. Laced with humour as black as a pint of freshly poured Guinness, The Banshees Of Inisherin uses a simple declaration of discontent – “I just don’t like ya no more” – as the springboard for a close-quarters study of fraying fraternal bonds and bruised male pride. McDonagh previously cast Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell as a veteran hit man and trigger-happy protege in his foul-mouthed 2008 crime caper In Bruges…

The two actors explore similar power dynamics here, armed with verbal grenades that cause maximum damage to their fatefully entwined characters in a close-knit island community where everyone knows a neighbour’s unfortunate business. Farrell delivers a nuanced, career-best performance as an uncomplicated man of the earth, who is rudely jolted out of a rut by an unexpected parting of ways. He trades masterfully in a different kind of naivete to Barry Keoghan’s show-stopping village eejit while Gleeson makes every weary sigh land with the force of a below-the-belt punch.

In spring 1923, tranquillity persists on an island off the coast of Ireland as the final deafening roar of civil war reverberates across the mainland. Dairy farmer Padraic Suilleabhain (Farrell) and sister Siobhan (Kerry Condon) live peacefully and unremarkably in the isolated community with their livestock including a cherished donkey called Jenny, surrounded by the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Every afternoon, Padraic shares a drink down the local pub with fiddle player Colm Doherty (Gleeson) and exchanges small talk with landlord Jonjo (Pat Shortt).

Out of the blue, Colm tells Padraic that he no longer wishes to be friends or trade pleasantries: “I just don’t have a place for dullness in me life anymore.” This sudden rejection sends Padraic into an emotional tailspin and he seeks guidance from the local priest. When Padraic awkwardly engineers a reconciliation, Colm pledges to cut off one of his fingers each time the dairy farmer breaks the silence between them. Padraic’s response has catastrophic consequences for the islanders including police officer Peadar Kearney (Gary Lydon) and his sweetly simple-minded son Dominic (Keoghan).

The Banshees Of Inisherin lines up pints of melodic melancholy, exasperation, dismemberment and full frontal male nudity and we enthusiastically drink the bar dry over the course of two engrossing hours. Violence is used sparingly and to devastating effect. No real animals were harmed but creatures on two and four legs suffer most grievously on screen, sometimes by their own trembling yet determined hands. Colm may be tired of Padraic’s inane chitter-chatter but I have all the time in the world for McDonagh’s expertly created picture.

– Jo Planter


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