The Banshees of Inisherin Parent Guide
The end of a friendship is the beginning of a whole lot of drama.
Parent Movie Review
On the small Irish isle of Inisherin, Pádraic Súilleabháin (Colin Farrell) and Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) have been going to the pub together on a daily basis for years – until Colm abruptly tells Pádraic that he never wants to hear from him again. Confused, Pádraic asks if he has done or said something to offend his best friend. No, replies Colm, he is simply no longer interested in being friends. In fact, he would prefer never to speak to Pádraic again. Colm just wants to focus on writing his music and playing his fiddle. When Pádraic continues to dig into the cause of the rift, Colm explains that he just doesn’t like Pádraic anymore, and if he keeps talking to him, he’s going to cut off his own fingers one by one with a pair of shears and throw them at his house. Although the rest of Inisherin is confused by Colm’s behaviour, the loss of his friend under such strange circumstances proves exceptionally difficult for Pádraic, who has to come to terms with his new life, minus his best and oldest friend.
Those familiar with Martin McDonagh’s other work will be prepared for the inky black comedy he brings out in The Banshees of Inisherin. I will warn you, though, that Banshees isn’t necessarily going for laughs. Sure, it gets some, but the laughs are just there to keep you from trying to drown yourself in your drink – this movie is bleak. An exploration of loneliness, male friendships, and despair, the film is, at times, hard watching, but executed so incredibly that it’s well worth the hardship. I think it’s safe to say that this is one of my favorite films of the year, so that ought to tell you something.
The script is, of course, phenomenal, but the film relies heavily on the performances of Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Kerry Condon, who plays Pádraic’s sister, Siobhan. They all manage to be funny, fascinating, and heartbreaking at different times throughout the film. The uncredited star is Ireland. Apart from producing the story and characters, the beautiful landscapes of the Irish isles are an incredible counterpoint to the bleak, stubborn, and hilarious characters who inhabit them.
Unlike some of McDonagh’s other films, this one isn’t quite deluged in profanity – I suspect primarily due to the characters use of the (rather fantastic) substitute “feck”. That plus a few severed fingers, a drowned corpse, a dead animal, and a scene of a fully nude man passed out in a kitchen chair are the extent of the film’s content concerns – so, safe to say, not a children’s film. There is also, as you might have expected, a fair bit of social drinking. Realistically, it looks like a way to self-medicate (sub-optimally) all the horrifying depression repressed.
The Banshees of Inisherin is a film that makes you laugh just to try and keep you from crying, and the impressive part is that it manages to pull it off more often than not – it just lets you choke up a few times to remind you that all comedy is built from tragedy.
Directed by Martin McDonagh. Starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon. Running time: 114 minutes. Theatrical release November 11, 2022. Updated November 11, 2022
Watch the trailer for The Banshees of Inisherin
The Banshees of Inisherin
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Banshees of Inisherin rated R? The Banshees of Inisherin is rated R by the MPAA for language throughout, some violent content and brief graphic nudity
Violence: Severed human fingers are seen. A drowned body is seen. An animal chokes on a severed finger and dies. Individuals are infrequently punched. A character is beaten off-screen, allegedly with a tea kettle.
Sexual Content: There is a brief reference to child sexual abuse. There is a scene of full frontal male nudity in a non-sexual context.
Profanity: There are six sexual expletives, five scatological terms, and occasional mild curses or terms of deity. There are also roughly three dozen uses of the word “feck”.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen smoking tobacco and drinking socially.
Page last updated November 11, 2022
The Banshees of Inisherin Parents' Guide
How is the film’s setting during the Irish Civil War significant? What was the Irish Civil War? How have civil conflicts influenced Irish film and art?
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