Tuesday 31 October 2023

The Banshees of Inisherin [2022]

 In Irish playwright turned filmmaker Martin McDonagh’s captivating debut film In Bruges, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson had portrayed an oddly fascinating bromance. Made 14 years later, The Banshees of Inisherin reunited the two actors, along with the sense of being oppressively stuck in a ravishing locale, into a darker, nastier and gorier variant of the Laurel and Hardy films – with Farrel embodying a baffled shaggy dog persona, while Gleeson bringing in stolid stoicism – albeit no less absurdist or farcical, and occasionally as funny too. However, its demonstration of an intimate friendship transforming into an ugly, bitter and mutually destructive separation – catalysed by brittle male egos and wounded male prides which reach gothic proportions – ambitiously aimed for profundity, ingenuity and grand Shakespearean tragedy (with sharp satiric undertones and a macabre sense of humour), even if it couldn’t always sidestep artifice and contrivances. The grim fairy tale – articulating the collapse of reasons and morals amidst spiralling madness and violence, wherein a fable playing out in an eerily tranquil and astonishingly beautiful island served as an analogy to the dance of destruction and deaths that was playing out in the Irish mainland – kicked-off on a deadpan note when the dim simpleton and dumbfounded Pádraic (Farrell) is made to realize that Colm (Gleeson) – afflicted with existential anguish – has decided to cut off their seemingly inseparable bond, in order to spend his days composing, playing and teaching music, as opposed to indulging in meaningless banter. This banal premise rapidly escalates into the realms of lurid ludicrosity. The film’s outstanding central cast also comprised of Kerry Condon as Pádraic’s intelligent sister Siobhán, and Barry Keoghan, a troubled guy regularly beaten by his policeman dad.

Director: Martin McDonagh

Genre: Black Comedy/Social Satire

Language: English

Country: UK

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