‘Inisherin’s Banshee’, more than a film, is a state of mind: Martin McDonagh signs a brilliant and devastating exploration of loneliness

Tom Hanks, who has confessed to having problems with loneliness years ago, affirms, not without reason, that “Cinema has the power to make you not feel alone, even when you are”; a tremendously accurate observation if we take into account how face the big screen in the darkness of a stalls It immerses us in an unexplored world of which we become a part and that we share with its inhabitants for a couple of hours that can become a balm for the soul.

However, the seventh art can prove to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, once the lights are turned on and we are forced to return to the harsh reality, it is almost impossible not to taste the bitterness; on the other, in specific cases, the very feature film to which we expose ourselves can evoke loneliness with the greatest of puritythe latter being something that is only in the hands of the best storytellers.

With ‘Inisherin’s Banshees’the two-time Oscar winner Martin McDonald —’Three announcements on the outskirts’— manages to impregnate with the most visceral sensation of melancholy and helplessness 115 minutes that, more than a movie, shape a state of mind. One that little by little gets under the skin based on sadness, a cloudy sense of humor and that existentialism capable of breaking the spirit of the most optimistic human being.

Smiles and tears

It is very difficult to argue an opinion about a title so rich, complex and full of layers like the one that concerns us without falling into the temptation of deviating again and again from the marked path. For this reason, rather than focusing on its multiple readings and formal, artistic and narrative benefits, it is best to do so in the emotional component and, as can be deduced at this point, ‘Inisherin’s Banshees’ dazzles in that regard.

During the perfectly measured three acts that underpin its solid structure, I have had time to experience bewilderment, to have fun and laugh openly, to cry my eyes out and to conclude the function feeling an immense void that remains intact as I type these lines. A cluster of sensations that, in a certain way, evolve progressively as do the arcs of round and perfectly drawn characters.

Through this impossible cocktail in which crying and laughter cease to be antagonistic terms and which is seen driven by a McDonagh who brings out his facet as a playwright with a masterful use of dialoguethe film displays a discursive range in which the aforementioned loneliness, friendship, the human imprint, the idea of ​​transcendence and the convulsive history of 20th century Ireland are examined with cynicism and acidity.

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To work this small film miracle and successfully transform all these elements into an atmosphere as dense as it is unique, the filmmaker, in addition to his polished narrative mastery, has shielded himself from superb production design and cinematography —the handling of the color palette is commendable and turns the Irish coast into a kind of purgatory—and, above all, into an impeccable cast in which Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell stand out, who has peaked in his acting career.

Everything that can be written about ‘Inisherin’s Banshees’ will not do the slightest justice to its brilliance. This story with the soul of a fable and overflowing with symbolism and folk overtones it transcends its environment and its nature to rise up as one of the most special experiences that we will be able to enjoy in a 2023 film year that is starting with unusual force.

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‘Inisherin’s Banshee’, more than a film, is a state of mind: Martin McDonagh signs a brilliant and devastating exploration of loneliness

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