"The Banshees Of Inisherin" Is Hilarious, Dark, And Colin Farrell And Brendan Gleeson Are A+++

    If you've ever wanted to cut a friend out of your life, well...you should watch this.

    In case you haven't heard of it yet, The Banshees of Inisherin is a new film from British-Irish playwright and filmmaker Martin McDonagh that reteams him with frequent collaborators Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson (who also costarred in McDonagh's In Bruges).

    Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as Pádraic and Colm, respectively, standing on a beach

    BTW, before we get going here, if you want to know absolutely nothing about the film going into it, be sure to bookmark this for later. I won't reveal any major spoilers, but obviously, I gotta talk about the film somehow!

    Set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland in 1923, Banshees tells the tale of lifelong friends Pádraic (Farrell) and Colm (Gleeson), who find themselves at odds when Colm suddenly, and very unexpectedly, ends their friendship.

    Pádraic looking at Colm in a pub, but Colm ignoring him

    Filmed on location on Inishmore and Achill Island (standing in for the fictional Inisherin Island of the film's title) — Banshees opens with beautiful, sweeping landscapes and a look at charming Irish village life. If isolation, long walks, and drinking are your thing, you'd probably find this island to be heaven. That is, until you realized things are a little darker and more bizarre than expected.

    Pádraic walking alongside a donkey in a lush countryside

    While there's plenty of humor throughout Banshees, what unfolds is actually a pretty sad, dark, and at times, bloody story. (Fair warning, if you're not a fan of a little gore, you might have to cover your eyes a couple of times during this one.)

    Colm standing in his cottage

    Here's the setup: The story follows old friends Pádraic and Colm. Every afternoon, for as long as anyone can remember, Pádraic picks up Colm from his beachside cottage at 2 p.m. The two then walk over to their local pub for a drink and have a grand old time. Sounds great, right?

    Colm and Padraic sitting at a table outside the pub, talking

    Well, on this particular day — where our story opens — when Pádraic goes to pick up Colm, Colm not only refuses to answer the door, he straight-up ignores Pádraic. And he's mean to him. Like, really mean.

    Padraic looking through the window at Colm, sitting inside his cottage

    Later on, Pádraic is finally able to get Colm to talk to him and asks if he did something to offend Colm, to which Colm simply responds, "No." *head scratch*

    Padric looking sad, facing Colm

    It turns out, Colm just doesn't want to be friends with Pádraic anymore. That's it.

    Pádraic eventually learns that Colm "doesn't want to waste his time anymore." He's in the winter years of his life, and rather than spend the rest of it talking shit and drinking with his BFF — who, btw, he refers to as "a limited man" (rude) — Colm, who loves the arts, wants to pursue his ~true~ passion: music. (Specifically, writing a piece for the violin.)

    Colm playing the violin outside his house, looking out over the ocean

    It's a fair point Colm makes, but like, IDK, hanging out and drinking with my BFF sounds like a pretty great way to spend my days (and Pádraic would agree). Suffice to say, this basically breaks Pádraic's heart. Although, being the good man that he is, he refuses to give up on Colm and their life-long friendship.

    Colm and Padraic riding in a cart, Padraic crying

    Set against the backdrop of a civil war raging on the mainland of Ireland, the smaller (but equally intense) "war" between Pádraic and Colm weaves in and out of the lives of everyone in the village. Everyone from the barman, the pub regulars, the shopkeepers, to even the village creepy lady, Mrs. McCormick, is interested in Pádraic and Colm's drama. Everyone knows everyone, and everyone wants to know everyone's business. Small-town life, ya know?

    The town bartender looking across the bar

    Now, because the film is set in rural Ireland (and is a period piece), the accents can be a little difficult to understand if you're not, well, Irish. But the simplicity of this thoughtful story is easy to follow and one just about everyone can understand: What happens after the death of a friendship?

    Padraic sitting on a cliffside wall with Barry Keoghan as Dominic Kearney

    Farrell is wonderfully charming as the endearing Pádraic, a simple man with good intentions who just wants everyone in his life to be happy. And it's a pleasure to see Farrell continue to play against type these days, having moved away from mediocre action films like Alexander, Miami Vice, and Total Recall that defined the earlier part of his career but left little room for him to show off his acting chops. 'Cause, spoiler alert, he's great in this.

    Padraic looking confused in town

    Gleeson, meanwhile, is somehow hilarious and scary at the same time in his role as Colm. Colm is a stubborn man who will go to intense, self-mutilating lengths to make his point, and it's quite the ride watching Gleeson channel that intensity. But then, he's one of those actors who's *chef's kiss* in just about everything.

    Colm looking angry, sitting in the pub

    Rounding out the stellar cast is Kerry Condon as Siobhán Súilleabháin, Pádraic's younger (but wiser) sister, and Barry Keoghan as Dominic Kearney, a simple (but loveable) local who also happens to be the son of the town's awful policeman, Peadar Kearney.

    Close ups of Siobhán and Dominic

    As mentioned, Martin McDonagh is not just an accomplished filmmaker, but also a playwright. And it comes off in Banshees. The dialogue at times feels like a tennis match — two actors in a room, bantering back and forth about everything from the meaning of life to donkey "shite" — and somehow, McDonagh makes it all feel like poetry as you watch.

    Padraic and Colm outside the pub, by the cliffs

    It's a highly original story — which says A LOT in these days of sequels, prequels, and requels — and one that'll keep you captivated right up until the very end. So, if you're in the mood for a little dry humor, a tale about friendship (and ending it), then the darkly quaint Banshees of Inisherin just might be up your alley — 8/10, would recommend!

    Colm shushing Padraic

    The Banshees of Inisherin opens in theaters Oct. 21, and you can watch a trailer for it here:

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    Searchlight Pictures / Via youtube.com