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Film Review: The Banshees of Inisherin

Kelaru & Fulton rating: ★★★★★

Available on Prime Video | Runtime: 1hrs 54mins

 

Martin McDonagh takes us on a mythical trip to a remote island off the west coast of Ireland in his new dark comedy The Banshees of Inisherin. And while the story explores somber themes of friendship, belonging and purpose, it is laden with McDonagh’s signature absurdist humor that provides much needed comic relief.

Set in 1923, the story follows lifelong friends Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson), residents of the fictional island Inisherin. Their friendship comes to an abrupt end when Colm suddenly decides he doesn’t like Pádraic anymore and wants nothing to do with him. Pádraic is confused and hurt, refusing to accept Colm’s decision. But Colm is unwavering, going to extreme lengths to avoid his ex-friend.


As tensions escalate between the two men, the mythical banshees of the island title make an appearance, wailing their deafening screams, portending Colm’s imminent death if he doesn’t reconcile with Pádraic.



McDonagh infuses plenty of distinctly Irish humor throughout, from brotherly spats between Pádraic and his wise-cracking sibling Siobhan (Kerry Condon) to cringy encounters between Pádraic and Dominic (Barry Keoghan), a troubled young islander keen on befriending Pádraic despite his best attempts to avoid him.


In The Banshees of Inisherin, McDonagh has crafted an Irish fable laced with wit and wisdom. The allegorical tale speaks of friendship and belonging with poetic poignancy, reminding us through humor what it means to be human. I laughed, I cried, and left pondering the mythical mysteries of life on a remote Irish isle.




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