THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN (2022) – My rating: 7/10

A poster of two men standing by a sea shore with a dog lying between them. The tagline reads, "Everything was fine yesterday."The Banshees of Inisherin is a dark comedy written and directed by Martin McDonagh. The film follows lifelong friends who find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their friendship. The Banshees of Inisherin seemed like an interesting story, I think it was entertaining.  It reunites the two main stars, who previously worked together on McDonagh’s directorial debut “In Bruges” back in 2008.

In 1923, on the small fictional Irish isle of Inisherin during the Irish Civil War, folk musician Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) and Pádraic Súilleabháin (Colin Farrell) appeared to have a friendship for many years.  Suddenly, without notice, Colm decides to dissolve their friendship.  Confused and upset Pádraic who doesn’t live far from Colm, becomes depressed and will do anything to restore their relationship. Pádraic’s sister Siobhán Súilleabháin (Kerry Condon) lives with her brother and is an acquaintance of Siobhán.  She cannot understand what’s going on with her brother’s old drinking buddy. Pádraic, though nice and well-liked by the islanders, is too dull for Colm, who wishes to spend the remainder of his life composing music and doing things that he will be remembered for. Pádraic’s life is destabilized by the loss of one of his few friends; as Pádraic grows increasingly distressed at the rejection, Colm becomes more resistant to his old friend’s attempts to speak to him. Colm eventually gives Pádraic an ultimatum: every time he bothers him or tries to talk with him, he will cut off one of his own left fingers with a pair of sheep shears. Siobhán plays the violin/fiddle with a local band, so cutting off any of his fingers would be devastating to his future as a musician.

I found myself waiting for a reasonable conclusion to this crazy story but reasonable never came.  In fact, things got more and more discombobulated.  The Banshees of Inisherin is a small production with a short storyline with not much to say about it.  You either enjoyed it or not.  Of course, the characters are well-acted, bringing much-needed interest to the story.  I didn’t find The Banshees of Inisherin very funny but it did keep my interest intact. As of 9 November 2022, The Banshees of Inisherin has grossed $3.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $7.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $11 million.  On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 97% of 237 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.7/10. The website’s consensus reads, “Featuring some of Martin McDonagh’s finest work and a pair of outstanding lead performances, The Banshees of Inisherin is a finely crafted feel-bad treat.” The Banshees of Inisherin is not for everyone but I recommend it to those who are not looking for a lot of action.  The Banshees of Inisherin is currently in theaters — Check It Out!

 

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