TIFF ‘22: ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

Friendships are always an integral part of life; sometimes, we can grow out of certain ones. In the small town of Inisherin, two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them. People can change and want different things out of life. But the way Colm (Brendan Gleason) handles the situation with Pádraic (Colin Farrell) is a bit excessive when ending the relationship. 

Writer-director Martin McDonagh breaks down Colm and Pádraic’s relationship throughout the film. They are two very different characters that seem like an unlikely pairing on Inisherin. The Banshees of Inisherin has Farrell at his most vulnerable and you will feel from instantly. Pádraic doesn’t understand why Colm is breaking their bond to complete a song. He can’t seem to wrap his head around the fact that he is such a distraction for Colm.

McDonagh crafted one of the funniest, most-heartfelt and dark scripts of the year. Friendships come in all forms and they constantly change over the years. It also highlights a midlife crisis for Colm, who feels he needs to do something for which he will be remembered. He questions the purpose of his life and his accomplishments. While he detaches himself from his best friend, Pádraic questions what it means to be a good person. It then becomes a battle of kindness versus purpose in life. 

The Banshees of Inisherin is a darkly comedic film about rediscovering yourself. McDonagh reconstructs Colm and Pádraic’s relationship; in the end, it becomes something different. What starts as an individual issue for Colm becomes personal when Pádraic insists on fixing the friendship. Both characters shift after a string of horrible situations and give new meaning to being connected to someone for life. 

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