The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) - 9/10
I’ve got high expectations going in. This could be dangerous. As Pádraic (Colin Farrell) knocks on his friend Colm’s (Brendan Gleeson) door to invite him to the pub, he’s ignored and there’s an ominous bell toll. This troubles Pádraic. Rightly so. These two it’s clear are thought to be best friends and when Colm says “I just don’t like you no more”, you can see Pádraic’s confused heart break. It’s a simple world of dry stone walls, rural countryside, log fires, candlelight, Jenny the donkey, fiddles and wooly jumpers. All adding to Pádraic’s melancholy. To be honest Colm doesn’t seem happy either. Despite all this The Banshees of Inisherin is a comedy. Not the crass stupid blockbuster kind, but the gentle heartfelt kind. Dominic (Barry Keoghan) alone is fantastic, “Pay no attention to wars, I’m against em, wars and soap”. Funny as he is, he’s no comfort to Pádraic or Pádraic’s sister Siobhán (Kerry Condon), who Dominic is chasing… pinning all his hopes on. Pádraic doesn’t understand why he’s lost his friend. Until Colm explains that he’s tired of idling the time away. He wants to be more productive, to leave a legacy. The island of Inisherin off Ireland is both beautiful and desolate. It’s a good metaphor for this film, about loneliness and purpose. It’s shot through with understated dry effortless humour that warms the soul sumptuously from the screen, but despite Pádraic’s best effort to stay away from Colm as instructed. His niceness makes it hard and before long Colm’s ultimatum unleashes an increasingly dark string of events. It’s the sort of film that cuts deep. Etching something meaningful. It’ll stick with me for some time. Expectations met.