The Banshees of Feck Knows Why.

On Sunday evening last, buoyed perhaps by the Irish win against Scotland at Murrayfield, I thought that maybe the thing to do was to watch an Irish filum or at least a filum set in Ireland. I had seen a film being advertised, The Banshees of Inisherin, so we thought we’d give it a go, so to speak.

The ‘blurb’ for The Banshees of Inisherin reads thus:

Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, the film stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two lifelong friends who find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship…

It sounded interesting, a bit quirky and the film’s genre was described as, Comedy, Drama. After we’d eaten our evening meal Kath and I settled down to watch.

It starts out fine, there is comedy and there is a hint of drama but as the film progresses it turns a dark corner and flows from comedic drama into dark comedy and then into something that we both agreed was just a bit macabre and not a little upsetting.

I’ll not give away any (major) spoilers, you may wish to watch it yourself, but it went from being something that looked as if it might be a good comedy romp to, well, to something that we both agreed we wished we hadn’t started to watch.

We stuck with it in the vain hope that it would bloody well cheer itself up and offer a sort of happy ending, loss of digits notwithstanding, but it just ploughed deeper into its dark furrow.

I don’t know why people want to make films like that. I don’t know what kind of message they are trying to get across. “Life is a bit naff and then it gets worse” is I think the banner they were unfurling.

Yes, sure, we know that life can be hard, unfulfilling, intensely annoying, sad and impersonal. Life sucks at various points there’s no use denying it but why would we want to be reminded of that by films like The Banshees of Inisherin?

The film title by the way is the title of a song that one of the protagonists is writing. See? There is hope there, there was hope there. It got lost.

To my way of thinking, that film could have been so much better but about a third of the way in you can see that things are going wrong, the characters are on diverging paths. We kept expecting it to perk up, for rifts to be repaired, for the joke to be exposed. It was April the first after all, surely it must have been a joke? But no, it wasn’t a joke and at that point the film starts its journey to the dark side.

Apart from the beautiful scenery of the Aran Islands off of Ireland’s west coast where the film was shot, I can really find no other redeeming features about this film. As the film started, looking at the scenery on screen I remarked jokingly that it was Craggy Island, but Father Ted is isn’t. It started by making us laugh and ended by leaving us depressed.

And maybe that was the intention of the film makers and if so, then well done, mission accomplished. But why, oh why? Isn’t there enough sadness and nastiness in the world? For goodness’ sake film makers, give us something to make us the feck laugh, to lift our fecking spirits, to make us feel grand there. Is that too much to expect?

Anyways, are you all set there for St. Patrick’s day?
Aw go on, it’ll be grand.
Take it easy on the Guinness though, it makes your shit black.
Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit.

2 thoughts on “The Banshees of Feck Knows Why.

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