Movie Review: The Banshees of Inshurin

The new movie “The Banshees of Inshurin” reminds me of one of the best quotes I have read in recent years. It’s from the CEO and self-made Billionaire creator of the company Spanx, Sara Blakely, who wrote – “In order to be your unique creative self, you will need to let go of caring what others think about you. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. It takes self-awareness, self-reflection, determination, and lots of courage, Not caring what others think about you doesn’t mean you don’t care about them, it just means you don’t need their validation to be you. It’s been my life’s practice to work on this … I hope it becomes yours too.” When I read this quote on the internet some years ago, I found it amazing that a person like Sara Blakely, who is so rich and successful would have a lifelong and ongoing problem of caring too much about what other people think of her. This is a problem for many of us and has been a weakness of mine – until I read this quote. Caring what other people think too much, gives them the power to affect how you feel about yourself, about your accomplishments or even about what you can do. If this caring about what people think becomes too prevalent in anyone’s life, then what other people think can become your reality and this is potentially tragic. Nobody should ever give anyone the power to make them believe that other opinions have any weight. Self worth and confidence must come from within – never from what other people think of you.

The Banshees of Inshurin – is a story that reminded me of a Shakespearian tragedy more than any other movie I have seen in many years. There are two friends Pádraic Súilleabháin and Colm Doherty played by Colin Farrel and Brendan Gleeson who live on a remote island off the coast of Ireland in 1923. One day, for some unexplained reason, Colm decides he just no longer wants to be friends with Pádraic. Colm at first is very rude about his decision, but later in this story – has an explanation about getting older and spending too much time listening to the boring stories of his friend in the pub they frequent, rather than writing new music. The problem is that Pádraic cares so much about what Colm thinks of him that this understandable explanation does not matter to him. All Pádraic cares about is getting his friend back because he cares so much about why Colm no longer wants to be his friend. Over time Pádraic’s obsession becomes a nagging desperation that causes Colm to mutilate himself in a way that I thought was one of the strangest, unexpected and sickest turn of events I have seen in any film. This is another example of a film trying too hard to be groundbreaking and different because nobody would do something like this just to get rid of an old friend. At times this mutilation seemed completely too off the wall and even disgusting. Ultimately, the screenwriter was successful in creating a story that nobody has ever seen before.

The acting in this film is outstanding by all cast members including the actress who plays Pádraic’s sister Kerry Condon. The cinematography is also great showing the amazing vistas of Irishmore, Aran Islands, County Galway Ireland. My only complaint is that the Irish accents are at times so thick that you cannot tell what people are saying.

I mostly agree with the 97% Rotten Tomatoes with a strong recommendation despite some of the insane ideas in this story.