It’s been a while since we’ve been to the flix, or flicks, but we were drawn as much by the two lead actors, Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell. A deep black comedy, so the blurby stuff said. That often means you wince at something with a kind of rictus smile and that justifies the headline. This was a little bit more appropriate. There were moments of humour but generally they were bleak.
Essentially, it’s about how friendships can be finite. You can consider yourself a friend and go along happily assuming the other half of that state agrees only to find out that’s not or no longer the case.
I understand. There was this chap at Uni. There were three of us and very close. He was a bit off piste, inclined to dramatic outbursts that took the remaining two of us by surprise. But we got along and had fun. But after Uni we went our separate ways and distant lent a different perspective. Eventually I felt uncomfortable and withdrew. I never said, unlike in the film, that our friendship was done. I just made it difficult for it to continue. I’ve experienced the other side – I wrote about an old friend who I tried to contact and drew a blank. Last year I made a final push and drew a blank. I need to accept, for whatever reason he doesn’t want to continue any contact. Fair enough.
What both show is that there’s an ease but a cowardice in not setting out the changed status, that by being open about the fact you’ve changed and want different things, its more about you than them.
But as the Banshees of Inisherin shows us, being so honest can have unexpected results.
It’s a good film; the scenery is stunning, the set up neat and the acting all you would hope for (Gleeson is his usual powerful self though Farrell is a little two dimensional – if you ignore his eyebrows: they must be up for Best Supporting Bodypart). It doesn’t romp, more rumble. There are some bum notes – one character seems to be played for laughs even though his awkwardness is tragic more than comic. And, as happens the two female supports are terrific, possibly stealing the show.
If you want a well acted, well written feel-awkward film then this is for you.
PS there are no banshees, nothing to portend death. Bit disappointing, actually.