Grim drama about friendship and isolation

The Banshees of Inisherin

My multiplex bills this on its website as a comedy drama. Dramatic, yes, albeit at a slow pace. But comic? Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson play Padraig and Colm, two men in a tiny village on a bleak island off the coast of Ireland. They’ve been friends all their lives until Colm announces that Padraig bores him to death and he doesn’t want him to speak to him ever again; if he does, Colm, an accomplished fiddle player, will start to cut off his own fingers. Since I’ve questioned the humor of this movie, you can guess what happens next.

The acting is impeccable. Farrell, particularly, has never been better. Kerry Condon as Padraig’s sister, who longs to escape the island, has the beauty and poignancy of a Thomas Hardy heroine. Delicately written and beautifully filmed, this is a small grim drama about friendship and isolation. But you will not come out of the cinema smiling. Comedy? I think not.

 

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