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  • Writer's pictureMax Markowitz

The Banshees of Inisherin

Compassionate & Exhilarating

Like its two leading men and the actors who play them, Martin McDonaugh’s The Banshees of Inisherin begins with a mood of predictability, community, and warmth. It all vanishes rather quickly. What happens next is not the precise opposite per se, but rather a slow burn toward something altogether different than what it was before. This lies mostly with the two leads as the Irish island of Inisherin is very much a character in its own right and its character never changes.

On the small island of Inisherin in 1923, the cherry-friendly Padraic (Colin Farrell) is distraught when his best friend Colm (Brendan Gleeson) suddenly puts an end to a longtime friendship. With assistance from his fiery but loyal sister Siobhan (Kerry Condon) and a battered chatty young islander Dominic (Barry Keoghan), Padraic sets out to repair the broken friendship by whatever means deemed necessary. Colm doesn’t budge and as irritation rises, he presents an extreme ultimatum that leads to a showdown neither of them can anticipate.

With a magnetic script, compassionate score, and exhilarating cinematography, The Banshees of Inisherin is both a humorous and emotional story about loneliness, depression, companionship, mortality, legacy, and male vulnerability. Farrell and Gleeson excel in unraveling the wounded interiors of both these men. Condon is a delight and a treasure to watch as the fed-up but caring sounding board for both of them and Keoghan will most likely gain most of the audience's laughter with his young wit and nervous mannerisms.

This is soon to be an immediate Irish classic from a British-Irish filmmaker that the Irish will fully embrace as an Irishman. The Banshees of Inisherin will leave you a little fragile inside but as hopeful for kindness as Padraic is genuine in his advice to those fighting in the Irish Civil War on the mainland off this island. “Good luck to you all,” he says kindly over the water as the sun sets over Inisherin. “Whatever it is you're all fighting about.”

“The Banshees of Inisherin.” Worthing Theatres and Museum, 8 Nov. 2022,

“The Banshees of Inisherin.” Worthing Theatres and Museum, 8 Nov. 2022,

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