The Banshees of Inisherin is a dark and bleak dramedy that is unafraid to tackle depression, despair, and worrying about the legacy you leave behind.
Have you ever seen a movie that somehow manages to make you feel down and sad, while also entertaining you the whole way through? That is a great way to describe The Banshees of Inisherin. While there is plenty of comedic relief, which is one hundred percent necessary to keep the audience invested, this is very much a dark and bleak film. It is unafraid to tackle depression, and the way one will change their life because they worry about the legacy that they are leaving behind.
Set in 1923 during the Irish Civil War, the story follows Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson) who used to be best friends but all of a sudden, Colm decides that he doesn’t want that anymore.
This confuses Pádraic while simultaneously breaking his heart. With the help of his sister Siobhán (Kerry Condon) and a young islander Dominic (Barry Keoghan), he tries to mend the relationship, only to make things worse and worse. The movie briefly mentions the literal Civil War that is going on, while at the same time showcases these feuding friends which seems to be a metaphor for war.
The Banshees of Inisherin is absolutely heartbreaking. It covers despair and the darkness that can fall over someone when they start to realize their own mortality. There comes a time in nearly everyone’s life when they begin to think about the legacy they are going to leave behind. They question if people will remember them, and if they do, what they will remember them for. It is pointed out in this film that all too often the niceness of someone is not what is remembered. And if it is, it fades all too quickly into obscurity after those who knew them pass away as well.
So while this film has its lighthearted, laugh out loud moments, it mostly stays in the desolate land of depression. Thankfully the comedy shines through the darkness whenever it is needed, adding a brightness that helps the audience swallow what they are taking in.
Each and every actor in this film plays their role perfectly and is a piece of reason this story works so well. Pádraic is the heart of the film and extremely likeable and relatable. Everyone has felt like him at one point or another in their life. Colm comes off as a bit of an arse, but also wants more than anything to leave something special behind before he dies, and we can all understand that. As for Siobhán she loves her brother with her entire heart, and represents the importance of family in the film, while Dominic is quirky but honest, and is completely unafraid to tell it like it is.
The only real issue with this movie is some of the effects are a bit off. In an effort to remain spoiler free, we won’t go into detail. However there are some moments that are extremely jarring but distracting at the same time as the audience will be busy trying to figure out how it was done.
If you were to list the events of this film to someone, they might look at you like you were crazy for putting yourself through something like this, but we promise you that it is indeed worth watching. Not only is it enjoyable, even though it is heavy and bleak, it will help viewers realize just how important it is to be nice to others. This is an important lesson for all to learn. Because even if no one remembers you when you are gone, at least you can make people smile while you are here, and isn’t that what life is all about?
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
NEXT: Blonde Review
About The Banshees of Inisherin
Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN follows lifelong friends Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson), who find themselves at an impasse when Colm unexpectedly puts an end to their friendship.
A stunned Pádraic, aided by his sister Siobhán (Kerry Condon) and troubled young islander Dominic (Barry Keoghan), endeavors to repair the relationship, refusing to take no for an answer. But Pádraic’s repeated efforts only strengthen his former friend’s resolve and when Colm delivers a desperate ultimatum, events swiftly escalate, with shocking consequences.
The Banshees of Inisherin comes to theaters on October 23rd.
You Might Also Enjoy...
Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.