‘The Banshees Of Inisherin’ Review
Friendships can be as changeable and temperamental and outright dramatic as grand romances, though they tend to get a bland rap on screen — with friends, for most screenwriters, merely convenient constants, there to support protagonists through matters of supposedly more consequence. If substantial platonic relationship studies are rare, ones about men are rarer still. And if that comes down to a social convention rather than a cinematic one, that’s integral to the power and poignancy of Martin McDonagh’s searing “The Banshees of Inisherin,” a film that traces the tortured breakup between two best pals in remote rural Ireland with all the anguish and gravity of the most charged romantic melodrama — its high, unleashed emotions all the more startling in a world where men don’t speak their feelings.
Set in a conservative, harshly patriarchal island community in 1923 — a forbidding body of water away from the mainland, where the Irish Civil War drags grimly on — “The Banshees of Inisherin” mostly sticks to that world, peopled as it is with surly, taciturn men, women encouraged to melt into the stonework and livestock hardly less expressive than their human minders. When its characters break and vent and hold forth, however, they do so in the ornately verbal, gruffly poetic and violently hilarious vernacular of McDonagh’s best writing — regaining, after two American-set efforts, the Irish brogue of both his heritage and his splendid 2008 debut “In Bruges,” whose stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are once more ideally paired here. The result feels closer than any of his previous films to the barbed, intimate lyricism of McDonagh’s work as a playwright, and more deeply, sorrowfully felt to boot….
…Read the Full Article @ Variety
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