By: Sandra Milena Ríos, creator of CineVistaBlog.com
What if suddenly your best friend cuts off the friendship sharply and without any explanation? Would he be willing to fight for her, valuing her importance, or would he accept it without any kind of resentment, respecting the other’s decision? In Martin McDognah’s new comedy (that of the also awarded “Three commercials for a crime”) Pádraic, in one of Colin Farrell’s best performances to date, has to lose his lifelong friend, Colm (Brendan Gleeson), well, for a moment He has stopped talking to another and has asked him never to look for him again. Colm no longer finds value in that friendship and has made the decision to spend the last years of his life doing things with which he can be remembered, such as composing music and, in those plans, he is no longer spending time drinking beer and talking about everything and nothing with Pádraic.
A friendship in a million suggests that the conflict of this relationship is irrelevant, but history places us on a remote Irish island, at the end of the Civil War, in the year 1923. LThe few inhabitants of the place will suffer the impact and consequences of this rupture, because Pádraic is not willing to accept it and Colm is determined to go to extreme and violent measures to drive him away.
McDognah had written a story with the title of this film several years ago and of which only the name has been preserved, which had always remained in the director’s taste because, according to him, the charge of mystery that it means to him and that is related to the word “banshee”, with which a ghostly figure that heralds death is designated in Irish mythology. The resonance of the title then led him to another theme on his mind about the loss of friendship between two friends.
Between movies, this award-winning filmmaker often lets a lot of time pass. Between his debut, “In Bruges”, and the second feature film, “Seven Psychopaths and a Dog”, four years passed. Between this and the third, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, five, the same time for the realization of this last production, although the script, he says, was the fastest to see the light. “I wrote it about three years ago and it’s perhaps the quickest script I brought to the screen. I usually leave them hanging around a little longer. However, for a while I had wanted to write something about the breakup between two friends and everything fell into place quickly once I started writing it,” he says.
What happens between the two characters in this film leads the story to internalize a character who in his mature age begins to question his existence, and another who debates what he has done wrong, who begins to doubt his goodness and that is carried away by anger and pride. These issues of the divine and the human between these friends, it’s really timeless, but McDonagh wanted to make a period film. “I always knew that I didn’t want to set the story in today’s time. There were some interesting allegorical aspects to the separation between these two men and the division between the two sides of the civil war, so I wanted to imbue the story with that feeling. Also, I had never made a period film and it was something that interested me”.
Couples in the cinema
When talking about great couples in the cinema, Farrell and Gleeson will always be referred to as those two hired killers (Ray and Ken) in “Hiding in Bruges” who take refuge in Belgium to let the situation calm down after the failure of an operation. McDonagh was aware of that, but he didn’t want to bring them back on screen to continue the story. He wanted them together in a different way, but just as charismatic..
“The reason I wrote it for them is because they are two great actors who always want to explore the truth, without hiding any of the ugliness of that truth. They’re not going to protect us from how dark these characters can be, or how dark they can get, but they want to be honest and sincere in every line.”
In this movie, they’re both great again. The chemistry they achieve is evident, they speak to each other with their eyes and transmit with them the bewilderment they feel in situations that are escalating. and they leave the viewer perplexed, while deep down there is something difficult to achieve: mix the fine and bold humor that involves imagining what happens with this couple, just as it happens with a love relationship that comes to an end and everything blurs.
Colin Farrell has won his second Golden Globe this year for this character, the second in a film directed and written by McDonagh, and the reason why he agrees to collaborate with him lies precisely in the way the filmmaker combines drama with comedy. , in such a way that as a spectator one barely realizes that they are laughing at a tragedy or crying at a hilarious situation.
“He is not the first person to mix comedy with tragedy, but he is very skilled at mixing them constantly, at every moment, and weaving them together in the same scene.. It is not that one scene is sad and the other happy. Sometimes it can change in a single line of dialogue and can go from hilarious to painfully sad or touching in the blink of an eye. His sense of tone to me is amazing, because it’s subjective. What may seem moving to one person, may seem funny to another, and vice versa., Explain this actor who also won the award at the Venice Festival and is nominated for the Oscars, where he competes, among others, with the also acclaimed performance of Brendan Fraser in “The Whale”.
A very difficult pulse to guess, after what was done by these two actors. Far from the first film that brought them together, Farrell does see it as a continuation: “This movie is actually ‘Hideout in Bruges’ 10 years later, but set 90 years earlier. It’s about similar love and affection, but about what happens after that, the dark side, the loss of it.”
To Martin McDonald “The spirits of the island” also have a connection to these post-pandemic times, where priorities have changed amid what isolation and loneliness implied, which end up disturbing the minds of the two protagonists of their well-accomplished story. . Definitely one of the best of the year. From this weekend in movie theaters.
“The spirits of the island”, the most awarded at the Golden Globes