More than ten years after the success of the black comedy crime drama In Brugesdirector/screenwriter Martin McDonagh reunites Irish actor duo Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Inisherin (The Witch of Inisherin), set in a remote village on the coast of Ireland, in the 20s of the last century. No longer a story about criminals with conscience, The Banshees of Inisherin is still clearly reminiscent of In Bruges’ “monster” quality, only it seems to be more sad. If the humor and drama make the audience enjoy watching each happening, the numbing sadness leaves an unrelenting obsession. This is probably one of the, if not the, best movies of the year.
The story of the film is simple but quite strange: Pádraic (Colin Farrell), a gentle, carefree guy falls into a serious crisis when suddenly one day, his longtime drinking friend Colm (Brendan Gleeson) decides to end his friendship with him just because he is .. too boring. In the late afternoon, Colm, a musician, prefers to spend time with music and stillness rather than carrying on meaningless conversations with his rambunctious friend. Having considered Colm as one of the few sources of joy in his tasteless life in Inisherin, Pádraic was deeply displeased by that refusal and tried to talk to him again. Frustrated, Colm threatened to cut off a finger of his own every time Padraic opened his mouth to speak to him.
Behind the seemingly simple little story, The Banshees of Inisherin contemplating the loneliness and absurdity of human life. The poetic landscape of the village of Inisherin, with its breathtaking coastline and magnificent sunsets, cannot comfort lonely souls, trapped in a monotonous, wandering life. In a village so small and peaceful, to be accurately described as ‘a land of dog bites,’ Colm could not avoid Pádraic, while Pádraic could not find anyone more suitable to be friends than Colm. Pádraic’s consolation is that his sister Siobhán is gentle, but she herself is fed up with the tasteless life in a small village and wants to leave the country.
Colm and Padraic are two desperate men, in different ways. Colm is a man who is bored with life but has not lost his enthusiasm for life. Behind Colm’s determination to reject Padraic was his desire to reject the monotony of life that had followed him all his life. And Padraic, who didn’t think so deeply, just wanted to maintain the daily routines that made his life orderly. Without Colm, Padraic realized how boring his life was; even, that life would become completely meaningless if he did not have cows and donkeys to be friends.
Like an untold Irish-set Shakespeare tragedy, The Banshees of Inisherin shows that every breakup is painful, whether it’s the end of a friendship between two men.