Film Review: “The Banshees of Inisherin”


  • Starring: Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson
  • Directed by Martin McDonagh
  • Rating: R
  • Running time: 1 hr 54 mins
  • Searchlight Pictures
A recipient of nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Director, and Actor, “The Banshees of Inisherin,” currently available on multiple platforms after being released in the United States last September, is a dark comedy/drama with well-crafted lines of dialogue and excellent acting. It also provides some interesting insight into Irish culture. However, while not as high on the overhyped scale as “Everything, Everywhere All at Once,” “Banshees” remains a long-winded affair that has the pacing of molasses that can lead to a feeling of outright boredom.
Set on the fictional Irish island of Inisherin, “Banshees” takes place in 1923 towards the end of the Irish Civil War. We know that fiddler Colm (Brendan Gleeson) and his drinking buddy Pádraic (Colin Farrell), a bit of a dullard, have been lifelong best friends. When we meet them, Colm, without any warning or explanation, has decided he no longer wants anything to do with Pádraic. This turns the latter’s life upside down as he struggles to figure out why his friend has discarded him.
Pádraic repeatedly attempts to understand why Colm has ended their friendship, even though Colm tells him that he wants to be remembered for something and has been wasting time with dull conversations with Pádraic. Eventually, Pádraic’s dogged determination leads to Colm threatening to cut off his own fingers if Pádraic doesn’t leave him alone, which he incredibly follows through with. It’s all a weird series of events that include Pádraic’s sister, Siobhán (Kerry Condon, the voice of Friday from “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame”) leaving for the mainland after getting tired of their senseless feud, something I wanted to do as well while watching it.
English Director Martin McDonagh, who wrote “Banshees” as well as “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” created dialogue that’s masterfully delivered by co-stars Gleeson and Farrell. The accents are not so thick that the actors cannot be understood, but what is not understandable is how overly drawn-out the story is. It’s a one-trick pony that gets old halfway through at the latest as the story leads to nowhere. Essentially, it’s easy to sympathize with Colm.
Great performances and beautiful shots of Irish countryside aside, “Banshees” is an overhyped film that probably require a pint to help get through it.
“The Banshees of Inisherin” receives two-and-a-half stars out of five.

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