The Banshees Of Inisherin – Toronto 2022

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in the film THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The Banshees Of Inisherin reteams filmmaker Martin McDonagh with In Bruges stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.

The newest McDonagh film is a pitch-black comedy set along the coast of Ireland. Pádraic Súilleabháin (Colin Farrell) and Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) have been friends since as long as they can remember. Until now. For one reason or another, Colm decides that he no longer wants to be friends with Pádraic. Pádraic does what he can to fix this relationship, bringing in sister Siobhán Súilleabháin (Kerry Condon) and friend Dominic Kearney (Barry Keoghan). Unfortunately, it’s all for nothing because Colm is insistent that he no longer wants to be friends. Colm is willing to go as far as pulling an ultimatum on Pádraic if as much as a word is uttered back at him. The results are devastatingly tragic to say the least. No spoilers from me but this is one of those films where you can only drop your jaw.

Pádraic has historically met Colm at a local island pub every day at 2 PM in the afternoon. People can be friends for a lifetime but in a split second, everything changes for these to. It’s nothing that Pádraic did on his end. It’s Colm wanting to be something more, maybe even leave a legacy behind on the musical front. He’s older than his former friend and sees his time as something that is precious. Can he be remembered on the same level as Mozart? Doubtful, but it will not be for the lack of trying. That’s all there is to it in this classic McDonagh vehicle. But because it is so sudden, Pádraic is in a state of shock. Could you blame him?!? Again, he’s in the clear as Colm is just being a class-A jerk.

Is it worth ditching one’s friends in order to focus on their art? This is the question that McDonagh ultimately focuses in on. The film’s events take place in 1923 during the same time that the Irish Civil War is going on. This particular war between the two lifelong friends just happens to be smaller in scale. However, it could very well escalate at a moment’s notice! Furthermore, the war between the two is impacting everyone else on the island. Before you know it, the pub is no longer a safe space! Surprisingly, the war taking place on the mainland is having no impact on the fictional island of Inisherin. What is happening on the island is an allegory at the end of the day.

The Banshees of Inisherin is among a few films in the running for Best Donkey on screen. Unfortunately for all involved, there’s no such award during the Academy Awards. You did good, Jenny. You did good. Jenny is also named Jenny in real life!

A long-overdue reunion, The Banshees of Inisherin is a pitch-black allegorical comedy featuring everything that makes a Martin McDonagh film what it is.

CAST: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan

The Banshees Of Inisherin held its North American premiere during the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival in the Special Presentations program. Searchlight Pictures will release the film on October 21, 2022. Grade: 4.5/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.