This is a rehearsal—perhaps I should become a movie reviewer. But then I would have to watch a lot of bad movies, so let me move on to a remarkable one I saw last week.
The movie is Banshees of Inisherin. And my take on the movie is partly bound by story and in part reflective of its allegorical dimension. “Pilgrim’s Progress” was said to be “an allegory of the spiritual journey.” Banshees is an allegory of the male spirit defying reason under the watchful eye of nature. And, to be clear, I am talking about male pride.
First, I had no trouble suspending disbelief; Banshees is not an otherworldly romp. It is an interesting story with compelling over- and under-tones. Banshees unfolds deliberately, but never loses its magnetism as the Irish coastline setting flirts with our mind.
Humanity or the lack of it is the central theme and the setting is a remote and sparsely populated island off the coast of Ireland. Two friends, where the potential for friendship is severely limited, are torn apart by ambition. One, played by Brendan Gleeson, Colm, has ambitions well beyond the daily pint in the pub with an amiable but dull character, Padraic, played by Colin Ferrell.
Supporting roles include Kerry Condon, the sister of Padraic, and David Pearse, as the priest in the local Catholic Church (is it possible to have a movie based in Ireland without a Priest?). As village gossip makes it into the Confessional, the Priest yields his claim to divinity.
Now I could go on and detail what most reviewers called dark humor. But I have no desire to issue a spoiler alert and then attempt to summarize the 114-minute film. Written and directed masterfully by Martin McDonagh, I’ll let him tell the story.
It can be found on HBO Max among other streaming services.
Al Sikes is the former Chair of the Federal Communications Commission under George H.W. Bush. Al writes on themes from his book, Culture Leads Leaders Follow published by Koehler Books.