New from Tarek Fayoumi on Movies with Tarek: 58th Chicago International Film Festival: The Banshees of Inisherin Review

Hatred and solitude are the two elements that stir the pot in The Banshees of Inisherin. Director and writer Martin McDonagh takes the relationship of Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson to disturbing tensions. Farrell has got that distracted mindset to being curious of what he did wrong. Gleeson has that introverted and annoyed attitude determined to be alone. The Banshees of Inisherin is pure McDonagh. That is McDonagh makes the situation as detrimental as he did with In Bruges (2008).

The Banshees of Inisherin takes place in the 1920s in Ireland. The scenery of locations includes Inishmore, Aran Islands, County Galway, Achill Island, and more places to name. The early time frame displays much of the Irish culture. There are pub settings, Irish traditions, and many rural areas. The rural area in the film is what makes The Banshees of Inisherin more vivid in terms of the personality clashes.

In the film, Farrell is Padraic, and Gleeson is Colm. They are good friends until Colm calls it quits to their friendship. Padraic finds himself shocked up and upset. The more he tries to make peace with Colm, the heavier the consequences. With Padraic’s sister Siobhan, (played by Kerry Condon) she tries to help Padraic not to make irreparable decisions. Soon the problems grow to be insane between Padraic and Gleeson. Colm calling it quits with Padraic is just the beginning unexpected surprises.

Colm’s choices become bizarre. The irrational choices throughout The Banshees of Inisherin goes into full McDonagh mode. The consequences start to include cutting fingers, house fires, and more catastrophes. The more catastrophes lead Padraic to want to make silly and vindictive choices also. Padraic tells Colm, “You use to be nice,” and then later he tells him, “Now you’re not nice,” and he says it with annoyance, frustration, and despair. Colm informs Padraic by saying, “I just don’t like you no more,” and he does so in a cold and aggravating tone. The Banshees of Inisherin is like a verbal, Irish boxing match between Farrell and Gleeson. It is truly a film of tension to the finest.

The Banshees of Inisherin is a McDonagh masterpiece. The tension is enticing, the plot is structured, and it is a fun ride along with the performances of Farrell and Gleeson. There are no boundaries to resolution between Padraic and Colm. There is only more vindictive fun thrown into the pool. Four stars for The Banshees of Inisherin.

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