Martin McDonagh is someone I personally highly respect. As a future screenwriter and director candidate, he is one of my biggest inspirations. We can mind at peace call Martin McDonagh, a wit storyteller. He manages to make grandeur stories out of ordinary moments. He brings the silent fights of our daily lives to the cinema instead of fictional heroes and fantastical actions. Makes us watch the dramas that occur in times and places that no one’s soul will hear. The Banshees of Inisherin is one of those stories. The film tells the relentless fight between 2 people on an Irish island, where no one will hear. It’s quite noisy but also pretty quiet. And the ideas that formed the basis of the film were like medicine for the breathing difficulties I have these days. Because I saw a little bit of myself in the movie.
Let’s talk about it briefly… Padraic (Colin Farrell), living in Inisherin, is a well-intentioned but dull man with an ordinary life. His whole life is based on the same routines, and he is unequivocally happy with it. But his life changes when his friend Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) says he doesn’t want to be friends with him anymore. With his routine disrupted, Padraic questions himself over what Colm has told him. However, since he doesn’t have the capacity to do this, he continues to bother Colm perpetually. Colm, on the other hand, “vigorously” insists on not being friends with Padraic.
Let me state at the outset, the movie is sufferably boring. But it’s not trying to be fun, either. Yes, although we laughed at some parts, the film did everything to reflect the boringness of daily life. It has a loop that turns over the routine. The only thing that breaks the pattern and builds the story is Padraic’s stubborn attempt to talk to Colm. But the story isn’t just about Padraic’s obsessive effort to win back his friend. It has some harsh rhetoric that is widespread. And these messages hit me in the heart.
There is a saying that I always defend: Just because someone is going to be upset and it doesn’t sound good, it doesn’t mean that what is done is not right. That’s why there is such a word as “radical.” Sometimes we have to make decisions in our lives that no one will like and someone will be upset about. Because our main priority in this life is ourselves. At least, that’s how it should be. First, we need to make ourselves happy. Colm Doherty is someone who gets enlightened with age. He thinks his boring life should have meaning and wants to be immortal. To become immortal, you need to produce a work that will be remembered in the future. Good at the violin, Colm devotes his time to simple daily conversations to create a work of art. But he cannot explain it to Padraic. Because Padraic is not capable of understanding that.
Padraic is a well-meaning but tedious person who doesn’t go out of his routine. He knows as much as he needs to know and does not need the rest. He is not very intelligent and reduces himself to a simple life. He has not read a single book. A conversation with a man like Padraic will not go beyond “how nice the weather is today.” Unlike his friend, Colm is someone who at least wants to break out of the routine and explore. For this reason, he removes Padraic, whom he considers a waste of time, from his life. As the audience, we feel sorry for him because we are watching Padraic’s side of the story relatively, but that’s why radical decisions are essential. Colm is actually making the right decision for himself and his dreams. Although it is a decision that will upset Padraic, it is a plausible decision.
Colm became someone I had no trouble empathizing with. Because I understand his desire to avoid “simple” conversations. I also avoid conversations that will not help or add anything to me. I can’t even join their conversation anymore. Because I don’t understand. Since I couldn’t talk for half an hour saying how pleasant the weather was, I was able to share the feelings of Colm Doherty. So instead of speaking for minutes on a simple topic, I prefer to spend that time on myself.
However, there is a character in the movie’s background that I empathized with the most. Padraic’s sister is Siobhan (Kerry Condon). Siobhan, the town’s most ostracized character, attained the enlightenment that Colm reached in his old age at a much younger age. She discovered books and met different worlds. And she realized there is a whole world apart from the tiny island she lives on. A world worth exploring. But she also can’t change her life due to the civil war, and her brother Padraic and never left the island. This is where the word radical comes into play again. She also makes a radical decision in the movie, and at the expense of upsetting someone, she goes on an adventure that she has never known. Because Siobhan’s view of life is too big to fit on that island. There is a saying that as the number of books I read increases, the people around me decrease. This is precisely why Siobhan is the otherized person in the town. Despite being the most cultured person among them, she is the most witchified and outsider. This reminds me of Gustave Le Bon’s ideas about the masses. No matter how right you are, you always lose against the crowd.
The film depicts the lives of different types of people with each other and the problems that arise after the radical decisions taken. While the routine, that is, simplicity, keeps it all in one route, things get complicated as soon as the characters decide to change. Padraic is getting aggressive from losing people around him and getting criticism. At his core, he is still the same boring and well-intentioned man. Colm wants to get out of his routine and focus on his art, but he can’t explain it to his simple-minded old friend. On the other hand, Siobhan is overwhelmed by almost everything on the island and finally decides to leave. As someone struggling to escape from the country I live in these days, I feel Siobhan in all my heart.
The movie enriches the story by adding 3 different characters to its flow. Mad Dominic, played by Barry Keoghan; Peader, a pure evil, played by Gary Lydon; and the witch, Mrs. MsCormick. These characters, who act as catalysts in the change of the main characters, are also firm defenders of the routine that follows Padraic’s route.
To sum it up… The Banshees of Inisherin tells the silent fight between the characters who decide to change or have to change on a boring island. In the film, in which no idea is glorified or criticized, the effect of knowledge on people is examined. The movie, in which the centuries-old fight between people who read and people who don’t read is reenacted on a small island, shows us that we need to make radical decisions, even if it sometimes upsets some people or frightens us. When Einstein said that people are divided into two, the good and the bad, he didn’t say that the good should be boring. The main priority in this life is ourselves, and to make ourselves happy, we should be in places where we will be satisfied and do things that make us happy. While Siobhan sees the benefits of her radical decision, Colm, unfortunately, has to struggle with Padraic’s obsessions and manages to reach the happiness he seeks, even if a few fingers are missing.
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