The Banshees of Inisherin – Film Review

Friendships can be hard. At times they can be full of fun and good memories, but they can also have their lows. Especially if your friendship spans a lifetime, much like Padraic and Colm in the new black comedy drama film, The Banshees of Inisherin.

For Padaric, life takes a strange twist when his lifelong best friend Colm suddenly decides they are no longer friends, he no longer likes him and never wants to talk to him again. Baffled, Padraic tries to mend the broken bridges between them, but Colm is not interested, and puts forward a very serious proposition with a grisly aftermath. The constant mind games push Padraic into a spiral, with dire consequences for both men.

The Banshees of Inisherin is set on an isolated island off the coast of West Ireland, a cold and wet farming island that is absolutely stunning cinematically, making an incredible backdrop for this bizarre story. The island has rolling green hills, beautiful beaches and is also very agricultural, with stonewalled paddocks across parts of the landscape. Cinematographer Ben Davis did an amazing job capturing this environment, so much so that I’d love to visit a place like this someday!

The In Bruges dynamic trio of writer/director Martin McDonagh and actors Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson reunite for this film, hoping to recapture that magic from the 2008 hit! In all honesty, I think they certainly captured that magic again, but also took it to a whole new level. 

Originally intended to be the third instalment of a series of stage plays, Martin decided to turn this into a film, and you can certainly see how the stage translates to the screen. There are a few key set locations, such as the characters’ homes, the pub, and the town. The homes have a real stage feel to them, they feel very intimate, and you just feel like a fly on the wall.

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are amazing in this film, both in scenes together, with others, and on their own. Together, there is a palpable tension that just oozes through the screen, feeling like a genuine conflict. This really draws you into the story and gets you invested. 

But my favourite performance was from Barry Keoghan, who pretty well plays the village idiot, giving great comedic relief to the film. His timing is impeccable, allowing the jokes to breathe and letting you process them. But his character’s life story and situation really hits home and tugs at the heartstrings, displaying Keoghan as an incredible actor with a great range. Ever since his performance in Dunkirk, I have been following him closely and believe Barry Keoghan has got a long and successful career ahead.

The Banshees of Inisherin is a return to form for Martin McDonagh, who has taken a bit of a hit with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missori. The film is dark in all the good ways, and it is hilarious! The whole audience was in stitches many times throughout the film, and I honestly can’t wait to see it again – it was that good! It’s some much needed laughter in tough times right now, so get out there and experience this on the big screen, you won’t be disappointed!

The Banshees of Inisherin screened at the Adelaide Film Festival and is showing at the British Film Festival until November 16. Released in all good cinemas from December 26.

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