Set on the west coast of Ireland, the film begins with Pádraic (Colin Farrell) waking up on a fine morning and making a discovery that leaves him baffled and shocked. Pádraic’s best friend, Colm (Brendan Gleeson), doesn’t like him anymore and wants to end their friendship. Colm’s attitude and explanation for ending the long-term friendship comes across as blunt, short, and direct. Pádraic refuses to accept what Colm is saying as truth and searches to find the real reason behind Colm’s strange behaviour.
However, as Pádraic continually attempts to reason with Colm, the tension between the two rises, and Pádraic’s passion for the friendship to mend comes with unexpected and disturbing consequences. Thankfully, Pádraic isn’t alone when questioning Colm’s change of heart. Joining Pádraic is his sister, Siobhán (Kerry Condon), who has problems standing up for herself and her brother. Siobhán feels Colm’s actions are inexcusable and odd. Pádraic also occasionally spends time with a young man named Dominic (Barry Keoghan), who carries many troubles of his own.
The Banshees of Inisherin is best described as a comedy, but to my surprise, the film also carries dramatic themes with moments bound to shock audiences. Many moments throughout will either shock, disturb or cause humour. The comedy aspect comes from the snappy dialogue, which all cast members deliver well throughout the film. As a drama, there’s plenty to admire here. It’s a film that slowly burns towards something huge, and the plot features a highly unpredictable and pleasing storyline.
Performances here are excellent. The on-screen chemistry between Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson is perfection. Viewers will find it highly believable that the leading characters were once close friends and now mysteriously have difficulty in their friendship. Moments of drama are delivered wonderfully, as are the more emotional moments, which are gripping and believable. The supporting cast is tremendous here, with Barry Keoghan providing plenty of laughs and impacting, unforgettable moments. I wanted to know the outcome for all the characters in the film, not just Pádraic and Colm.
Pacing here is praiseworthy. The film is always engaging, and something is always happening between the leading characters. I found it nearly impossible to be disinterested in the storyline. Visually, this is a stunning-looking film. Everything from the scenery, costume designs, and the many houses and buildings create a fun setting for this story. I rarely admit that a drama film warrants a cinema screen experience, but this one indeed does. I was impressed throughout the entire duration by the solid visuals, and even moments of drama in which the characters argue or debate are captured wonderfully.
Overall, this film has impacted me significantly. The performances of the leads and side cast members are touching, gripping and comedic. The Banshees of Inisherin delivers a cinematic experience filled with unpredictability and moments bound to shock its audience. Visually this is a stunning film; everything on-screen is glorious to look at, whether it’s the scenery, costumes, houses or even just how well scenes of tension are captured. It’s certainly a film I wasn’t expecting, given Martin McDonagh’s previous work. The Director continues to impress movie lovers with an unforgettable journey and a storyline filled with freshness and heart. The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) is Available in Australian Cinemas from December 26th!