Plot: “Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them.”
Review: Starring Colin Farrell as Padraic and Brendan Gleeson as Colm, The Banshees of Inisherin is one of the darkest and funniest movies I have seen this year. In its dark and twisted sense of humor, there is also a story with a lot of heart that I found profoundly moving.
With the transitions of life, comes a harsh realization: Some friendships have expiration dates. This natural cycle of life can happen for a multitude of reasons. Interests change, friends move, kids complicate everything, romantic relationships even more so, or perhaps the thing that brought two people together grows old or stale.
In this film, it does not take us long to uncover the reason Colm is no longer interested in a friendship with Padraic. Colm is doing what we all do in our lives. We become fixated on the little time we have left on Earth. Looking around, we attempt to measure our legacy and what we will leave behind. For Colm, after this introspection, he makes the tough decision to part ways with anything that is not bringing his life value or contributing to the legacy he hopes to leave behind.
For Padraic, none of this makes sense. Searching inward, he is first consumed with his own personal failings. Deciding he is a decent person; he gives way to anger and betrayal. Because Farell plays this role so convincingly, you cannot help but feel his pain. You cannot help but feel his rage.
When he finally disconnects from the reality of the situation, Colm serves an ultimatum. For every time Padraic speaks to him, he will sever one of his fingers from his hand and deliver it to his door. It does not take us long to realize that he is serious. While I will not spoil the lengths of his seriousness, I will say, for me, this is where this film becomes the most dark and hilarious film of the year.
In the silence and violence of an escalating war between friends, there are many lessons to be found in this film (despite the maddening lengths these men go to make their respective points). We will all question what will remain after we are gone. Almost all of us want to leave something that lasts longer than our name. For me, none of that matters without good friends standing by my side. Despite Colm’s arguments, wonderful friendships can also be a legacy. From there, all other gifts left to the world settle into second place.
Be good to each other,
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