Photo from Vox

On a small island near Ireland in 1923, Pádraic (Colin Farrell) is thrown for a loop when his best friend, Colm (Brendan Gleeson), suddenly no longer wants to talk to him anymore.

I found that the dissolution of this friendship was actually very true to life. People’s priorities change or they just fall apart over time. There is no real reason given why Colm stops wanting to be friends with Pádraic. He just doesn’t like him anymore.

Firstly, the cast is great all around. Farrell is a remarkably sympathetic character and you really feel for him. He is confused and lost. There are not a lot of people in his life who he is close to. His sister, Siobhán (Kerry Condon), was a standout to me. She seems to be the most level-headed person on the island. She is not afraid to talk down to her brother or to Colm. The town’s simpleton, Dominic (Barry Keoghan), was another great addition to the cast. He was probably the funniest character, and though he can be very leery with women, he ultimately has a good heart.

Gleeson was also good in his role, but I think his character was an enigma of sorts. You understand that the character wants to focus on his music, have intelligent conversations, and make a legacy for himself, but the way he goes about it on this small island is peculiar. His sudden departure in his behavior not only throws off Pádraic, but the whole town. He now finds Pádraic dull, which he can be because he doesn’t do much, but wouldn’t everyone on this island seem dull with their modest jobs in 1923? I also don’t know why Colm suddenly wants to become renown. He is a good fiddler player, but he should already know the chances of making it are slim, especially since he is on a remote island.

I was surprised how comedic this film could be. But I shouldn’t have been given I thought director Martin McDonagh’s previous film, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was also quite funny. Like Three Billboards, there is more of a dark comedic tone to this film. Let’s just say Gleeson’s character goes through with a threat that no one really expected him to and it shocked everyone in the theater.

You should also be aware that the Irish accents in this film are very thick and to an American like me, it can be hard to discern what the characters are saying.

Overall, The Banshess of Inisherin is a well-acted film full of memorable characters and standout performances. It is quite funny at times, but is also a bit heartbreaking. Its themes will leave you reflecting about how you will be remembered in life and about your own past friendships.

I give The Banshees of Inisherin an A-

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