Farrell and Gleeson Perform Comedic Irish Goodbye

Friendship can be complicated. Sometimes the push and pull of ideas disrupts the fabric of the relationship with the other, often disrupted by disagreements over mundane details. Playwright and director Martin McDonagh seems to know this concept well, as he brings his brand of dark comedic sensibilities to The Banshees of Inisherin. A sequel to his Oscar Three billboards outside Ebbing MissouriMcDonagh returns to the big screen to reunite his In Brugge Irish actors Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. McDonagh paints a twisted and thundering picture of two conflicting friends in 1920s Ireland.


Colin Farrell stars as Pádraic, a simple, naive man who lives out his days on a remote island in the west of Ireland as he takes care of his pet donkey. Brendan Gleeson plays Colm, an older, gruff and straightforward confidant of Pádraic who unexpectedly ends their friendship for no reason. The rejection comes as a complete surprise to Pádraic, who spent many years drinking pints with Colm, talking nonsense from their day until the local pub closed. Pádraic begs Colm to understand why their friendship has to end, saying their options are quite limited in their small island village. Colm does his best to explain to his former friend that Pádraic is not an added value to Colm’s life, and that he prefers to focus on his skills as a musician so that he will be remembered for other thing to discuss meaningless topics with a bland individual. .

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The ramifications quickly arise when Pádraic fails to understand that his friendship is no longer wanted. He relies on his sister Siobhán (Kerry Condon) for guidance and local outcast Dominic (Barry Keoghan) for comfort. When Pádraic cannot leave Colm alone, the latter threatens him saying that he would rather cut off his finger than talk to Pádraic again. When he follows through on this ultimatum, the consequences of the two men’s actions escalate until all hell breaks loose in their rural town.

Similar to an extended episode of Seinfeldwhen Jerry tries to end a friendship that no longer brings him joy, the story of Colm and Pádraic in The Banshees of Inisherin. Surprisingly funny and heartbreakingly honest, Martin McDonagh comes back into shape as he tells the story of an unromantic breakup, the sadness of being dumped, and the tricky business of dumping someone. Against the backdrop of the Irish Civil War unfolding far away on the mainland, the people of Inisherin are grappling with a civil war brewing on their own shores. As the conflict between the two male leads escalates, their interactions reflect McDonagh’s penchant for unhinged characters.

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson seem to be having more fun than ever as their on-screen chemistry runs deep. Farrell, in particular, holds up a mirror to Pádraic’s supernatural sense of gullibility as he experiences true blurred area when he can’t leave Colm. The supporting cast carries this ridiculous story forward, with strong performances from Condon and Keoghan bringing a sense of reality and hope to an isolated village setting. Gleeson’s stoic nature as an actor keeps the plot grounded, even when Colm’s motives aren’t fully realized. But it’s McDonagh’s use of chilling landscapes and fiery character rage that brings the film’s most priceless moments to life.

Inisherin’s Banshees Demonstrating the metaphorical aspects of civil disobedience and internal protest between a set of individuals is remarkably hilarious. McDonagh seems to appreciate simple concepts, layering them with witty banter and dark results. The film unfolds like a sitcom with disastrous results in an environment where the animals are kinder than the people responsible for caring for them. Dark and violent at times, Inisherin’s Banshees the use of juxtaposition makes it a fascinating and simultaneously hysterical film for the ages.

The Banshees of Inisherin had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2022. The film will be released in theaters on October 21. It is 109 minutes long and rated R for language throughout, violent content, and brief graphic nudity.