Review The Banshees of Inisherin: Farewell My Country

For The Banshees of InisherinMartin McDonagh reforms his winning duo of actors from Kisses from Bruges to film the story of a breakup reconnecting with his acclaimed Three Billboards.

The Banshees of Inisherin is the fourth feature film by Martin McDonagh, an Irish director in full artistic transformation. Because after the two dark and (already) disenchanted comedies following the exhausted gangsters that were Kisses from Bruges and Seven Psychopaths (probably his worst feature film), the director took another path with the award-winning Three Billboards. On the scale of a small American town, Martin McDonagh thus staged the rupture of an entire country, following a character from an abandoned working class. A journey, here transformed back to the origins for the filmmaker who with The Banshees of Inisherin returns to film his native Ireland, and examine a similar split.

Kisses from Inisherin

The Banshees of Inisherin thus has all the trappings of a modest author’s little film. Tight on a set, the small island of Inisherin, lost off the coast of western Ireland, and a handful of characters, Martin McDonagh’s fourth feature film is also, and surely, his most ambitious of all. themes it intends to deal with. Starting from the falsely simplistic postulate of the end of a friendship between Pádraic (Colin Farrel), a small peasant living with his sister (sublime Kerry Condon) and Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson), an aging musician locking himself in his compositions, The Banshees of Inisherin also relates the split between two Irelands, then under the fire of a civil war.

© Searchlight Pictures, 20th Century Studios

The scenario is thus a precision model. You can find there everything that made Three Billboards a great political film filmed on a modest and intimate scale here taken up a notch. The actors’ numbers are overwhelming and the naturalistic photography of Ben Davis majestically transfigures this small paradise island into a suffocating purgatory. Explosions heard in the distance that ring out, and words that are no longer spoken of a country loved to the point of unreason that will irrevocably never be the same again, and above all the eruption of a deadly violence that comes here to gangrene this which was once a small paradise.

Lost paradise

The great strength of The Banshees of Inisherin lies in the deceptively quiet force with which Martin McDonagh unfolds his narrative. The feature film offers itself as a piece of a bygone past that refuses to die, brilliantly embodied by its main character, allowing Colin Farrell to reconnect with his greatest performances. The Banshees of Inisherin is thus the story of the end of his carelessness, violently confronted with what he refused to see and hear, struggling sterilely towards an unfortunately irrevocable sentence.

The Banshees of Inisherin review
© Searchlight Pictures

A mourning fortunately not devoid of humor, but also of an overflowing love for its characters, in what seems like the most personal and delicate film of its author. So many reasons to go and discover this disenchanted fable but steeped in tenderness, very rightly selected for the next Golden Globes, and which will allow, and we hope, to dedicate numbers of actors that are simply overwhelming. And to admire the sensitivity of a filmmaker who films here, like James Gray this year with Armageddon Timea piece of childhood far removed from easy nostalgia, to deliver a very contemporary work from a past with falsely bygone themes.

The Banshees of Inisherin will be in theaters on December 28, 2022.



Goodbye my country

Martin McDonagh continues his Three Billboards in an even more modest and intimate vein. Because the filmmaker returns to film his native Ireland, The Banshees of Inisherin finds himself steeped in love and delicacy in what seems to be his most intimate film and his richest, most ambitious and precise screenplay. A tender and disenchanted fable where the numbers of fabulous actors come to inhabit this falsely bygone past, with very contemporary themes.

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Review The Banshees of Inisherin: Farewell My Country