Martin McDonough’s latest production begins with an ending. The end of a friendship that is the beginning of new and strange adventures. Stay with Zoomji.
After 13 years since the making of Martin McDonough’s first feature film in Bruges (2009) – It’s over, once again Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are reunited to be McDonough’s lead actors in this film. The film, which was successful in its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, won Joyer the best actor for Colin Farrell and the best screenplay. At the Golden Globes, in addition to the two awards in the mentioned categories, the award for the best musical or comedy film was also awarded to the film. Of course you shouldn’t Banshees of Inishrein considered it a comedy film.
At best, the film can be called a black comedy or, as they have mentioned, a tragicomedy. A deep tragedy told with a layer of comedy. The film is a story about two friends whose friendship has come to an end due to the decision and desire of only one of them. The story takes place in a small village called Inishrin. A village located on an island off the south coast of Ireland. When Ireland was involved in civil wars.
In the continuation of the text, the story of the film is revealed.
By starting the story quickly, the script wants to focus more on the situations of the characters as well as other and perhaps more important issues. The things that happened or will happen as a result of this separation and bring forward concepts that the screenplay intends to reflect on.
The film opens from the very beginning with a long shot of the island, accompanied by the sound of a church chant. As the main character (Padraic, played by Farrell) walks past a large statue of the Virgin Mary. It seems that on the small and religious island of Inishrin, the Holy Mary sees and monitors everything. At the same time, these references highlight the role of Christianity in the film. The film also identifies its problem very quickly. In less than three minutes, we learn that Callum (Gleeson) doesn’t want to meet Padraic. Something that cannot be digested for Padraic and it is something that he cannot understand the reason for and that is what bothers him. Something that even amazes the villagers.
No one can understand why this self-willed separation of Kalm happened. The word itself says “I don’t like you at all.” The image of a crow walking towards another crow and the other crow pulling back until it jumps and leaves is actually a visual metaphor for the situation that Padraic and Callum find themselves in.
By starting the story quickly, the screenplay wants to focus more on the characters’ situations and more side issues. The things that happened or will happen as a result of this separation and bring forward concepts that the screenplay intends to reflect on. McDonough places his characters in a remote village in order to focus on the loneliness that results from this. They are surrounded by a tough and vast nature. A nature that doesn’t care where there is war and where there is peace (the difference between Padraic and Callum is something exactly like the civil war that is going on outside the island, I guess on a smaller scale). Who is involved with whom and how are others doing? It does its job. This vastness and violence – at the same time as the inherent beauty – makes Padric’s loneliness and confusion stand out even more. He finds himself silent and alone in front of this vast mise-en-scene, and this annoys him even more. His only real companion, which is part of this nature, is his donkey.
In their second meeting in the village pub, where Callum explains to Padraic why he no longer wants to be friends with him, we encounter a great mise-en-scène. where Callum returns to the pub and sits at the table. He is sitting in the dark inside the pub and is busy with his instrument and composing; While through the window, we see Padraic sitting outside in the middle of nature. Callum is in the dark inside, Padraic is in the daylight. Kalm has trapped himself among human artefacts – from pubs to songwriting – but Padraic is still among nature. A mise-en-scène that perfectly expresses the situation in which they are stuck. Meanwhile, Padraic looks more confined and trapped in the frame of the window. As it is true and this incident is putting pressure on him.
In life, is it enough to be nice or to be nice, or should a person leave a mark or a memory of himself? Can’t that memorial be the goodness or is art necessarily something that people are remembered with?
I said earlier that one of the main purposes of the script is to focus on the side issues of this end of the friendship between Padraic and Callum. One of the main parts of this is what is discussed in this mentioned sequence. That Padraic is an absurd person and Calum wants to spend his life – according to himself – on more important and bigger things. By plotting this story, McDonough actually draws the audience’s attention to this issue. Is it enough to be nice or polite in life, or does a human being have to leave a mark or a memory of himself? Can’t that relic be just being good? Padraic is a man who is fascinated and bewildered by the details of his life.
He talks for two hours about his horse’s broad chest, while Kalm decides to compose a song and devote himself to higher things. Based on this issue, can it be said that Padric is an absurd person and Kalm is an educated person? One of the discussions of these two people inside the tavern directly refers to this issue. Where Padraic says he remembers his mother as a polite woman and Shivonne reminds Callum that Mozart lived in the 18th century, not the 17th. An irony from the movie to Kalm and his new situation.
As another irony, in one of the sequences where Padraic goes to Calum’s house, when he is slightly drunk and enters his house with the intention of insulting him, there is a dialogue between them about the latest song that Calum has composed. Banshees of Inishrein. Padraic says, “Inishrin, who doesn’t have a banshee anymore, does he?” And Kalm also answers that: “No, it doesn’t.” A conversation that shows the state of songs and the world of words to some extent. The world he imagines for himself is something subjective and imaginary. Like the unrealistic name he chose for his song. A forgotten world.
McDonagh’s religious allusions, which I mentioned at the beginning of the text, are completed by the arrival of the priest to the island and the scene of Kalm’s confession. Callum’s taunts to him in his conversation with the priest are juxtaposed with what Dominic said to Padraic and his sister (Shivonne) earlier. In the mezzanine where the police beat Padraic, while the camera is filming upwards, a large cross can be seen in the frame. A cross that appears just as the policeman punches Padraic and goes out of frame. Such shots can be found in abundance and everywhere in the film.
Shivon’s departure from the village also fueled his loneliness and depth of sadness. His ass is the only one left for him. Jenny is his only possession in this new situation, and he also dies by eating Kalm’s severed fingers. Here is the last step. It is at this point that Padraic completely loses it and goes to war with Callum
This one-sided separation gradually causes Padric to change as well. From the polite person he used to be, he gradually turns into someone he was not. The one who plots and keeps people away from the word. Someone who gets drunk and disturbs the speech. Shivon’s departure from the village also fueled his loneliness and depth of sadness.
His ass is the only one left for him. Jenny is his only possession in this new situation, and he also dies by eating Kalm’s severed fingers. Here is the last step. It is at this point that Padraic completely loses it and goes to war with Callum. That is exactly where Kalm wants to become careless.
Up until this point, the interesting thing about Callum and Padraic’s situation is that they don’t physically hurt each other. Callum cuts his own fingers and even rushes to Padraic’s aid where he can. Even Padraic tells Calum he wants to burn his house down. Although on the surface he wishes that he would be at home and burn, but in saying this, his intention is hidden that Kalem can save himself from that danger.
The last dialogue exchanged between them is also something along these lines. Callum thanks Padraic for taking care of his dog, and Padraic says he will do it whenever needed. Things that show that there is still a cordial friendship in this open enmity. Earlier, when Callum is talking about the end of the Irish Civil War (and he is referring to the end of the war and the feud between him and Padraic), Padraic replies that another fire of war will probably be rekindled. “Some things cannot be forgotten. Which I think is a good thing.” The long-standing friendship between them is one of the things that cannot be forgotten.