Combustible Celluloid Review - The Banshees of Inisherin (2022), Martin McDonagh, Martin McDonagh, Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Pat Shortt, Gary Lydon, Jon Kenny, Barry Keoghan, Sheila Flitton
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With: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Pat Shortt, Gary Lydon, Jon Kenny, Barry Keoghan, Sheila Flitton
Written by: Martin McDonagh
Directed by: Martin McDonagh
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout, some violent content and brief graphic nudity
Running Time: 114
Date: 11/04/2022
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The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Unfriended

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The first three feature films by playwright Martin McDonagh had a lot going on within their brilliantly wordy narratives; his fourth, The Banshees of Inisherin, is the opposite. It's about what happens when a character doesn't want to do something, much like the main character of Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener, who "would prefer not to." As it begins, Pádraic (Colin Farrell) goes by the home of his best friend, Colm (Brendan Gleeson), expecting, as usual, to go to the pub together. Colm doesn't acknowledge Pádraic. Indeed, he soon comes to tell him that he no longer wants to be friends. Pádraic is hurt and confused, and can't help trying to approach Colm to figure out what's going on, but Colm is deadly serious, and proves it by cutting off a finger.

This non-communication escalates and grows far worse, even tragic. It's all a question of mortality, and connection. Colm believes that it's more important to leave something behind to be remembered by (he wants to write a song) than to be nice to others while here. The movie is full of connections and disconnects, such as Pádraic's needy relationship with his loving sister Siobhán (a great Kerry Condon), and his miniature donkey Jenny. But he also jumps behind a stone wall to avoid the island's fortune-telling crone that seems to rub everyone the wrong way. Farrell and Gleeson, who have a great onscreen friction, were the stars of McDonagh's debut feature, In Bruges (2008), though the two films are not otherwise connected.

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