Everyone has had friends come and go in their lives. The people we thought in high school or college would be our best buddies forever or homies for life go MIA the moment you step off the graduation stage. In high school, I had this little clique of friends who would come over every weekend to play video games, shoot some pool or partake in a Dungeons & Dragons adventure.
And then in college, I had three different roommates with whom I spent many days and nights watching movies or going out to events. And now, almost 30 years later, I have maybe one or two of these people I see semi-regularly. Growing up changes everything. When you leave the shelter the pseudo-community college and high school gives you, it’s hard to maintain those friendships.
I have some mates that I would probably do just about anything for. From the guys I met in the haunt business, to colleagues I have in my day job of cybersecurity, I have a small little pool of “blood brothers” who are on my speed dial. We don’t hang out all that often anymore (for one reason or another), but we do still find time to check in with one another when time permits. A world without true friends is a place no one would want to find themselves, as we grow attached to certain people. Humans need that social interaction to maintain sanity in this crazy world.
In the film The Banshees of Inisherin, we see what can happen when said friendships are ruined. Colin Farrell portrays Pádraic Súilleabháin, a musician living on the fictional isle of Inisherin. One day, his best friend for many years, Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson), decides that Pádraic is just not worthy of being friends with him. Thus, he tells Pádraic that he is dull and to leave him alone.
Pádraic’s life is wrecked by this startling revelation. He badgers Colm to the point where Doherty gives him a stern warning that if he bothers him further, Colm will cut off one of his own fingers. Even with the care and love of Pádraic’s sister, Siobhán (Kerry Condon), and another acquaintance named Dominic (Barry Keoghan), Pádraic and Colm appear to reach an impasse in which their lives will never be the same again.
First off, Colin Farrell is magnificent in The Banshees of Inisherin. I would say that this role was one that the Irish actor was made to play. He makes Pádraic an extremely sympathetic person. The character could have easily been the worst part of the film, as Pádraic is almost comically upset about the loss of his friend. He whines and moans about the abrupt ending of this companionship and will not take no for an answer. Any other actor would have not been able to make Pádraic likable with all of these shortcomings, but Farrell was spectacular. For that very reason, Colin Farrell has my vote, as of now, for Best Actor in this awards season.
The Banshees of Inisherin is very simple in its premise, but deep in lore. On its face, you just have a simple falling out of friends. But it gets way deeper than that. We want to know what changed with Colm to make him resent being friends with Pádraic. Why does Pádraic become so heartbroken over this? Would Colm actually cut off his own fingers as a way to make Pádraic leave him alone? All of these subplots (and more not mentioned) work hand in hand to make this very simple story an onion, with layers upon layers that the audience has to peel back to truly experience everything the film has to offer.
I give The Banshees of Inisherin five out of five stars. For a movie simply about two friends having a falling out, it feels like so much more. The cast is great in all their roles, with Colin Farrell turning in one of the best performances to date. Banshees is one of those movies that works from beginning to end. You will find yourself happy, sad, disappointed and frustrated, but most of all you will be entertained.