Jeri Jacquin

Today on Digital HD and coming to Bluray from writer/director Martin McDonagh and Searchlight Pictures is the story of a friendship that is going through its paces with THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN.

It is 1923 Ireland on the island of Inisherin and Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) and best friend and drinking buddy Padraic (Colin Farrell) are having a problem. Well, it actually seems that Colm has a problem and Padraic is confused. Out of nowhere, Colm decides he does not want to be friends with Padraic any longer.

Padraic is not the only one confused as the news reaches everyone in the sleepy little town. The only answer Colm seems to give is that he wants more out of life and friendships and Padraic just doesn’t have what it takes. Colm wants music, conversation and to be remembered for something other than drinking with his pal.

That does not sit well with Padraic who wants more answers and seeks out his friend time and time again. Frustrated, Colm gives Padraic an ultimatum – stop bothering him or he will do something horrific to make it clear. Someone else who does not understand the treatment of her brother is Padraic’s sister Siobhan (Kerry Condon) who does try to help. Taking care of her brother has been a full-time job.

It is the eerie Mrs. McCormick (Sheila Flitton) who warns of death in the town. Padraic starts to hang out with Dominic (Barry Keoghan) to at least have someone to vent to. When Dominic tells Padraic what is being said in town, he goes to Colm once again for answers and is only met with something vile being thrown at his door. But when one of Padraic’s animal friends is hurt by Colm’s threats, a side of Padraic is released that no one could have expected.

Friendships can be brutal.

Gleeson as Colm is a man going through changes. Practically overnight he has decided that his life should mean more and leaving something musically behind could be that thing. The one person he feels could stop him from having this new outlook is Padraic so, the friendship abruptly ends. Gleeson gives us a character that is resolved, literally, in making sure that no one stop him from what he wants. I just love the back and forth between he and Farrell. It is superb, strong and award worthy.

Farrell as Padraic is a man who does not want the changes. He enjoys his friendship with Colm and it boggles his mind that he would abruptly end it. Even given the reasons for the ending, it is not enough for Padraic. Farrell gives his character such a sad but determined place in this story. Sad in that he is so confused by his friend’s behavior and determined when things start to take a strange turn and another side of Padraic emerges. He is also superb, strong and award worthy.

Condon as Siobhan has been taking care of her brother in a life that hasn’t made her happy either. Trying to help the situation, she realizes they are both stubborn and it is time for her to think about life away from them all. Condon is not a weak woman in a man’s world, she is actually a strong woman on an island with crazy people (and I mean that in an ‘I know the feeling’ small town feeling way).

Keoghan as Dominic is a young man in love, or just really and truly wanting love. Finding friendship where he can, it is a small island and a small town so his choices are, well, small. Keoghan portrays his character in that smallness and it is tragically lovely.

Other cast include Pat Shortt as Jonjo Devine, Jon Kenny as Gerry, Brid Ni Neachtain as Mrs. O’Riordan, Gary Lydon as Peadar Kearney, Aaron Monaghan as Declan and David Pearse as the Priest.

Searchlight Pictures is responsible for such films as SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, THE SHAPE OF WATER and THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI. They have an extensive film library as well as documentaries, scripted series, and limited series. For more information, please visit

The Bonus Features include Creating THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN – Go into the inimitable mind of director-writer Martin McDonagh as he delves into THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN, from story inception and reunion of its gifted actors, to searching the islands of Ireland for the perfect, evocative locations. Also, Deleted Scenes with Chasing Colm, Colm Can’t Compose, Parent’s Grave and Peadar, Siobhan Crying Too Loud and Stoic Equals Boring.

Director McDonagh has been one of my favorite filmmakers for quite some time. His films such as IN BRUGES (2008), SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS (2012, which is still one of my favorites) and THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (2017) are only part of his repertoire. This film is equally as beautiful as those named above. Reuniting Gleason and Farrell (they starred together in IN BRUGES) is pure magic.

THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN is a dark story of a friendship that has gone sideways. Keeping certain things out of this review because it needs to be experienced, just know when I say that these two have serious issues. Neither are sure what they want as their reasons will have heads shaking.

I did not know whether to laugh or cry at the behavior of two grown men living on a sheltered island. Instead, my jaw spent a lot of time on the floor with their antics. Friendships are difficult enough at times, McDonagh has added a whole new layer of craziness that is completely wild. There are also undertones of a woman knowing it is time to make changes of her own as Siobhan realizes she cannot be her brother’s keeper forever.

THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN is a story filled with emotions, but not exactly the kind that one would expect of a friendship.

In the end – everything was fine yesterday!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.