The Banshees of Inisherin is an allegorical tale of friendship and feud between two intellectually different individuals. Set in the backdrop of the Irish Civil War, the story, even though told in a simple manner, reflects the underneath tension of the concurrent political imbroglio of Ireland. In his latest offering, director Martin McDonagh continues his predilection for his favorite stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, the first of whom maintains his superb form from the earlier outing of the trio ‘In Bruges’. Even though it is being lauded critically across the globe for its metaphorical approach of storytelling, ‘The Banshees…’ somehow failed to impress me with anything new apart from Farrell’s brilliant portrayal as the naïve and unimaginative Padraic and soothing scenery of an imaginary Irish island called Inisherin. However, this is absolutely my personal opinion and many may rate this as a masterpiece. Life is all about personal choices when it comes to art or entertainment, isn’t it?
The narration is slow paced and follows a definite pattern of the Irish plays. There is simplicity all around. There are lonely people. There are petty talks. There is naivety and there are aspirations to be immortal through one’s own creation. One of the friends – Padraic is unambitious, dull , unimaginative yet possesses a good heart whereas his friend turned foe for apparently no solid reason Colm represents the higher, more talented, more ambitious echelon of the society. There is an eerie and obnoxious presence of Mrs. McCormick who foretells about imminent deaths. She represents the banshees of the title.There is Padraic’s sister Siobhan who chooses her own independent path amidst the feud and bitterness all around. Everything and everyone portrayed represents one thing or the other of a civil war. Destruction for apparently no reason. Middlemen profiting from the destruction. People suffering and losing their loved ones. And there are people migrating for peace.
The cinematography is exceptional and it is one of the strongest points of the movie. The serene landscapes of the imaginary island called Inisherin mesmerize us throughout the duration of the movie. Farrell’ acting is topnotch and he is definitely a strong contender along with Brendan Fraser to win the Academy Award for the Best Actor of the Year. Kerry Condon as the caring sister of Padraic is scintillating and her screen presence is one of the factors keep you glued to the screen. However, there is nothing special other than the points I mentioned and the acting of the rest of the cast including Brendan Gleesan seemed prosaic, insipid and lacks vigour. Storyline as I mentioned already is simple and even though it is metaphorical to the civil war, at times it is difficult to digest a thing or the other. Colm’s hyperbolic behaviour at times was irritating and monotonous. Even though it has already bagged 9 Oscar nominations and definitely is poised to score big in the Academy Awards, it may not go down the history as something immortal like the tune Colm was creating in the movie. It’s a good movie with some very high points but offers nothing new to be a pathbreaker. On any given day, I would rather prefer to watch Martin’s previous work ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ‘
My rating 7 out of 10