Martin McDonagh is an experienced director. In addition to his signature sudden bloody scenes (In this film, there are broken fingers. To keep readers away from feeling discomfort, stage photos are not shown.), he is also very good at describing the changes of characters with the camera. Watching this film, we will find many interesting details if we pay attention to the screen.
For example, in the film, Padraic's character has undergone a significant change. The director let Padraic break the mirror so that his emotions under his honest and sincere appearance can be displayed in front of the audience.
For Colm Doherty, the director sets him in the same shot with a hanging statue at home, showing his tendency to self-mutilation and the pain of not being understood.
A fork in the road implies that Padraic and Colm Doherty have different life goals.The two have parted company spiritually.
As for Padraic's sister, she always wants to escape from the small town and search for a bigger world. But she worries about her younger brother. She is just like a seabird on this island who could not escape no matter how she flies.
When she makes up her mind to accept the job from afar and finally leaves the island, she is surrounded by free-flying seabirds. At this moment, there is a feeling of getting rid of bondage and running for freedom.
In addition to the exquisite scene design, the story of this film is also full of connotations. It is not as interesting as “In Bruges”, nor as perseverant as “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. It is full of weirdness and absurdity that one can hardly explain. It is inexplicable. It is not the taste of Martin McDonagh that the audience expected, but it is full of Martin McDonagh.
For example, the name of this film, "The Banshees of Inisherin", is very strange. It has two layers of meaning. On a shallow level, it is the name of the music that Colm Doherty, one of the roles in this film, is composing. He needs a peaceful mind to compose the music, so he resolutely breaks up with Padraic, his friend who has always been good to him, which triggers a series of vicious events.
So why did Colm Doherty compose The Banshees of Inisherin? What does this music mean?
The story takes place in Inisherin, an island next to Ireland's main island. But this island is made up by the director, and there is no such island in reality. Inisherin is Inish-Erin in Gaelic, which can be translated into English as Island of the Irish. So, going around in circles, Inisherin means Irish Island. As for The Banshees, it is a banshee in Irish mythology who predicted death by crying and screaming. Her eyes are red and swollen, and she cries because she knows someone is going to die.
Therefore, the name is still a metaphor for Ireland, although the story takes place on an island that does not exist.
The story is set in 1923, and the sound of guns firings from time to time in the film indicates that there is a civil war in Ireland. The omission of this background is impossible.
As we all know, World War I ended in 1918. The war permanently changed the map of the world, in which the mighty British Empire collapsed and the colonies under the UK flag became independent one after another. In this scenario, between 1919-1921, the Anglo-Irish War also took place between Britain and Ireland. As a result of the war, Ireland gained independence.
However, in 1922, after the end of the Anglo-Irish War, there was a civil war in Ireland, from June 28, 1922, to May 24, 1923. The casualties of this civil war are greater than those of the Anglo-Irish War, and leave deep cracks in Irish society, which still has an impact on Irish politics.
A considerable number of Irish people, relatives, and friends who used to live in harmony suddenly start to fight and kill each other. This meaningless war, in the eyes of future generations, is extremely absurd. The main plot of the film is about two good friends who break up with each other and fall into hatred for absurd reasons.
Another wonderful reflection of "The Banshees of Inisherin" is the conflicts between interpersonal relationships, the inexplicable conflicts between friendships, and the absurd sense of inhumanity, which is just in line with the reappearance of weak and unstable interpersonal relationships in the current pandemic. Hence, in this 2-hour film, there are so many metaphors and implications. The story is absurd but worth watching. The director is quite good at his job.
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