Hello film fanatics and movie lovers, it’s Slick Dungeon! I’m back to review yet another Oscar nominated film before the big show tomorrow. This time I watched The Banshees of Inisherin. There will be spoilers in this review so if that’s the sort of thing that makes you want to cut off a finger, watch the movie first and come on back to read the review.
The Banshees of Inisherin is a character study drama centering on the lives of Colm Doherty and Pádraic Súilleabháin. The two of them live quiet lives on a small island of the coast of Ireland. It’s a tiny community where few people leave and even fewer people return. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows your business at all times and nothing much changes.
Things do change for Pádraic, however, when he goes to knock on Colm’s door and invite him to the local pub which they do every day. Colm ignores Pádraic completely and just sits in his house. The next day a confused Pádraic asks Colm why he wouldn’t go to the pub and Colm says it’s because Pádraic is boring. This sets off a low level feud between the friends. Pádraic for his part does everything he can to get Colm to be his friend again but Colm does everything he can to avoid Pádraic.
This all takes place with the backdrop of the end of the Irish Civil War. While it’s not touched on too directly both Colm and Pádraic make comments on it and we hear sounds and rumors of fighting far off in the distance. Things become increasingly charged between Colm and Pádraic when Colm threatens to cut off one of his own fingers with a pair of sheep sheers if Pádraic keeps talking to him.
Things escalate from there between the two until the end of the film when both friends have good reason to be quite upset with one another.
The pacing of the film is very slow. It’s got great performances from both Colin Farrel and Brendand Gleeson but I think Farrell shines just a little more here playing a nice guy who has been wronged for no apparent reason. The story winds itself slowly to a pretty interesting finish with Pádraic and Colm having a bit of a strange resolution to their feud. It’s unclear if things will get better for the two in the end or if they’ll be life long enemies who are stuck on a tiny island.
Out of all the Oscar nominees I have seen so far this one seems to rattle around in my brain the most trying to figure out just what the meaning of it was. I’m not sure if that is a compliment or a criticism here but it’s a memorable film for sure.
If you like quiet character drama or slow paced black comedies this movie is for you.