Some questions for you to reflect on: when is it valid to end a friendship? Is a rational justification necessary, which makes sense to both parties, or can it be a unilateral decision, which pleases one side but not the other? Well, it is exactly this discussion that we see in Inisherin’s Banshees (2022), Oscar-nominated film 2023.
Directed and written by Martin McDonagh, The Inisherin’s Banshees has a great main cast, with Colin Farrell (The Batman), Brendan Gleeson (Harry Potter), Kerry Condon (Three Advertisements for One Crime) and Barry Keoghan (The Sacrifice of the Sacred Deer). All, incidentally, deliver wonderful performances, worthy of applause and awards.
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However, in addition to beautiful interpretations, Inisherin’s Banshees it has many other positive points that make it a unique experience. Despite the simple premise, the narrative deals with interesting, complex and common themes to most people. This means that, right away, there is an identification with the work on the part of the spectators.
When watching the production, I confess that I had mixed feelings, evoked through the characters, the breathtaking scenery (it made me want to visit the place) and the story itself. The work as a whole gives enough arguments to believe that there is not, necessarily, a wrong side and a right side in all that unpleasant situation.
But will Inisherin’s Banshees Does it deliver what it promises or are ideas lost by the end of the film? Is this great Oscar 2023 competitor worth watching? In this narrative and critical analysis, you’ll discover all that and more. Here we go?
What is Inisherin’s Banshees? (NO SPOILERS)
Let’s start with that basic brushstroke in the narrative of the work, so that we are all on the same page.
Inisherin’s Banshees takes place during the Irish Civil War (1922 – 1923) and introduces viewers to the lives of the few residents of a remote island, far from the mainland. Among the peaceful residents of the place are longtime friends Pádraic Súilleabháin (Farrell) and Colm Doherty (Gleeson), Or rather, former friends.
That’s because, overnight, Colm decides he doesn’t want to be Pádraic’s friend anymore. At first, Pádraic is a little confused and believes that the fact is nothing more than a joke or a prank. As the days pass, however, Colm makes it clear that he is serious and that he doesn’t like the boy anymore, demanding that he simply leave him alone.
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Gradually, we discover Colm’s motivations for the end of friendship with Pádraic and, as things escalate, the conflict between the two begins to affect the other residents of the island, including Pádraic’s sister, Siobhán (Condon), and the young Dominic (Keoghan).
How long does a friendship last? Inisherin’s Banshees shows that the parties do not always see the relationship in the same way.Source: Searchlight Pictures
WARNING: SPOILERS ALERT! IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN INISHERIN’S BANSHEES, DON’T READ CONTINUE!
Inisherin’s Banshees: Narrative and Critical Analysis (WITH SPOILERS)
How the narrative Inisherin’s Banshees reveals, the reason for the end of the friendship between the protagonists comes from Colm, who believes that Pádraic adds absolutely nothing to his life. While Gleeson’s character is a studious, introspective and reserved violinist, Farrell’s figure represents a simple man, not studied and without great pretensions. Right away, therefore, we realize that, despite cultivating a friendship previously, the two are very different.
The chats, the likes, the yearnings, the desires. Things just don’t add up. Which shows that the relationship between the two was purely the result of circumstances (at least for Colm): the island of Inisherin is tiny, secluded, with only a few dozen residents. As in any other region of its kind, everyone knows each other and interacts. Choosing friendships, in this case, is not something so simple or common.
The first act of the film, in this sense, shows Colm breaking this pattern, who understands that he does have the right to choose his company, even on an island where everyone is “glued”, either because of the short space or by the local culture. As the character explains, his desire is to focus on his songs, his art, and not on making small talk or killing time. That way, after he died, he could leave behind something he will be remembered for in the future.
Pádraic, on the other hand, does not understand Colm’s ideas and does not conform to the end of the friendship, since he would not have done anything wrong, as he himself says. By insisting on reconciliation with his former friend, Colm makes everyone on the island uncomfortable and exposes one of the film’s crucial questions: how long does a friendship last? If one side feels that there is no future in the relationship, should it continue just for convenience?
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the narrative of Inisherin’s Banshees it is very effective in addressing both sides of the friendship between Pádraic and Colm, providing us with arguments that make us believe that, in fact, there is not a right person and a wrong person in the situation. Colm wants to redirect his energy and efforts towards himself, Pádraic wants to share everything. Colm is colder, more objective and practical, while Pádraic is kinder, warmer and naive. He realizes, however, that one thing does not cancel the other. There is no right or wrong. And the storytelling succeeds in making this clear throughout the second act of the production.
Collin Farrell delivers a beautiful performance in Inisherin’s Banshees as he lives the gentle and peaceful Pádraic.Source: Searchlight Pictures
To symbolize and reinforce this “war” between former friends, the narrative also uses some very interesting resources. One of them is the context of the Irish Civil War, which is taking place in the country. When the protagonists point out that war is a bad thing, and that it makes no sense for similar people to fight each other, they do not realize that they are doing something very similar (even on a remote and peaceful island, which refers to peace). That is, there is a clash in Ireland, but there is also a clash in Inisherin. A very curious parallel created by McDonagh.
Another point that reinforces the conflict between Colm and Pádraic can be seen in the pets of each one. Pádraic owns a cute and kind donkey (which portrays his personality well), while Colm takes care of a very intelligent and centered dog (which epitomizes many of the character’s traits). And remember, by the way, that the climax of the conflict between the two comes after Pádraic’s colt dies. In this sequence, it’s almost as if part of the character’s goodness also died along with the little animal. The fact, by the way, is the trigger for Pádraic’s drastic decisions in the third act of the film.
Finally, You Inisherin’s Banshees is a film that evokes mixed feelings and poses several questions in our minds. Its symbologies, such as the Banshee (portrayed by the character Mrs. McCormick, played by Sheila Flitton), for example, create a narrative full of details and nuances from a simple premise (the end of a friendship). The open planes, which contemplate the beautiful landscapes of the work, also help in the composition of the atmosphere and weave an interesting counterpoint between beauty and the confusion created by the conflict between Colm and Pádraic.
If you haven’t watched Inisherin’s Banshees, my tip is: consider being friends with this beautiful film. The film is currently showing in Brazilian theaters and is expected to be released on Star+ streaming on March 22.