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The Banshees of Inisherin

Opening Date
26 Jan 2023
M18 Some Nudity
114 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Martin McDonagh
Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell, Barry Keoghan, Kerry Condon
Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN follows lifelong friends Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson), who find themselves at an impasse when Colm unexpectedly puts an end to their friendship. A stunned Pádraic, aided by his sister Siobhán (Kerry Condon) and troubled young islander Dominic (Barry Keoghan), endeavours to repair the relationship, refusing to take no for an answer. But Pádraic’s repeated efforts only strengthen his former friend’s resolve and when Colm delivers a desperate ultimatum, events swiftly escalate, with shocking consequences.
By InCinemas  22 Jan 2023
A stirring tragicomedy that is unpretentiously one of the most hilarious and heartfelt films you’ll watch this year.
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The Banshees of Inisherin (or the extreme pettiness of men) is a stirring tragicomedy that is unpretentiously one of the most hilarious and heartfelt films you’ll watch this year.

Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin reunites McDonagh with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, both of whom starred in his sucessful directorial debut In Bruges (2008). Also featured are Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan.

Set in the fictional island of Inisherin, Ireland, the film follows the tale of two lifelong friends who find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship. Folk musician Colm (Gleeson), realising he wants to do something more substantial with his life, begins ignoring his lifelong friend and drinking buddy Pádraic (Farrell), who he feels is too dull and not worth spending his precious time with anymore. Blindsided by his friend’s change of heart, Pádraic–whose only other constant companion is his sister Siobhán (Condon)–finds himself a need for a new ally which he finds in the town’s young outcast Dominic (Keoghan).

McDonagh’s well-structured screenplay is an interesting exploration of friendship and loneliness. He takes a mundane yet relatable storyline and amplifies it with apt quips that are both thought-provoking and laughter-inducing. His words flow through the film in such natural form, you'd almost mistake it for mumblecore. Despite being set on a quiet island, there’s not a minute of dreariness thanks to the continuous log of conversations. It’s hard to unsee the potential of The Banshees of Inisherin making a splash on West End but great scripts are nothing without the right performers and McDonagh hit the jackpot with his selection.

Farrell gives an effortless performance as Pádraic, ably giving his character dimension that allows viewers to sympathise with him despite being a meek and simple man. More specifically is his deftness in utilising his best assets in emoting a thousand words without having to say anything. His eyebrows deserve an award of its own.

Needless to say, Farrell's performance is only greatly enhanced by a solid supporting cast. Gleeson’s stoic Colm–a no-nonsense man of few words and great expression–and Condon’s fiery take on Siobhán adds contrast and flair to Pádraic but it’s really Keoghan’s standout performance as the simple-minded Dominic that steals the thunder everytime he’s on screen. The gifted young actor makes choice decisions by instilling little quirks to his childlike performance, embodying a role that was clearly best suited for him and him alone.

The Banshees of Inisherin could be set in an empty room and its entertainment value would still hold up but with every great film, there's fitting audiovisual aid that makes it an overall success. Set against various beatiful islands of Ireland, the vast green lands and ocean blue skies add depth to the isolation of the characters while also bringing a sense of peace and serenity, making for a perfect backdrop to the film. Accompanying the stunning visuals is a folky harmonious melody courtesy of composer Carter Burwell that plays perfectly into the film's very Irish setting.

The Banshees of Inisherin will leave you questioning your priorities and pondering your life choices. It’s easy to relate with either side of the friendship spectrum–be it a determined man like Colm who has goals and ambition or Pádraic who’s satisified with his humble and simple life. Who knew the end of a friendship between two grown men would be this entertaining?
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