'The Banshee of Inisherin': An Evocative Book of the Year

    The separation of the two men's seats reflects the Irish Civil War as the background. However, if these two men are only regarded as the epitome of the two sides of the civil war, it is suspected of paying back the pearl. What's more, the writer/director Martin MacDonald has always had a tendency to oppose nationalism, although he was an Irishman who grew up in the UK. The distant war in the movie is more like the human voice heard by two people who walked out of the Garden of Eden.

    The Banshee of Inisherin poster

    "The Banshee of Inisherin" is another sad story that takes place in a lonely space that director Martin is good at telling. The year is 1923 and the location is a fictional Irish limestone island. Padraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson) were best friends. They are carefree and meet every afternoon at the only tavern on the island. They don't need the help of any religion or philosophy, just relying on the habits engraved in their daily life is enough for them to live. The Banshee has always existed on the island in the form of the old McCormick, and still can't disturb their eternal life like carved in stone.

    Stills of "The Banshee of Inisherin"

    Until one day, Colm, who can play the violin, "awakened" as if cursed. Aware of death, he is determined not to waste a second of small talk (mainly with Padraic) and concentrates on composing music. He wanted to pass away and leave traces, and die as an artist rather than an idler.

    Colm has an existential crisis comparable to Adam and Eve. Because Martin puts him directly in such an ancient position, he cannot turn to other people's ideas for help, but can only face the big hole that suddenly appeared in his life alone. He couldn't imitate Jesus and fight death with the most rebellious passion. Nor can it be like the Buddha's epiphany, dissolving the self in order to obtain liberation. Naturally, on such a small island, it is impossible for him to learn Confucius' pragmatic attitude and devote himself to creating a good social order in which people can develop their beautiful nature. Do you constantly torture yourself like Socrates to gain the foundation of existence? Colm couldn't ask any questions either.

    He is like a stubborn donkey, who has no choice but to follow his instinct and reach out to his only source-music. He wanted to write a tune that would last forever, and he wrote and wrote behind closed doors, shutting out Padraic. Padraic went from being a dear friend to being a symbol of what had eroded his life so much that he had to get rid of it. Colm announced that he would never say a word to Padrik, and showed his determination by cutting off his fingers.

    Stills of "The Banshee of Inisherin"

    After Martin created a character like Colm, he was able to pinch a Padraic to maintain the balance of the scale. Padraic was a baby, brought up with the habits of the island. This person is like (is) the Irish island scenery that the camera greedily shows, frankly and without impurities. Padrik didn't understand why Colm suddenly decided to quit the seat, and kept asking him. Colm chopped off his fingers one by one, and the last one choked Padraic's beloved little donkey and broke his heart. Padraic is a man of nature, and he rages in a natural way, eventually setting fire to Colm's seaside cottage (but freeing his dog beforehand).

    Stills of "The Banshee of Inisherin"

    Colm and Patrick used to have endless hours. If it weren't for Colm's awareness of death, they would have lived forever in Eden, despite the banshee wandering around, casting a glance at them from time to time. As their anger escalates, the two go from immortal to mythical mortal god.

    They are said to be gods, because they have great humanity, are close to gods, and have been removed from human constraints such as occupation, family, and social responsibilities. The houses on the island are very small. Padraic leaning on the door frame and Colm sitting in the house are like adults who temporarily live in a dollhouse. will be trampled to pieces.

    Together with several other characters in the movie, they form a sea kingdom that is both real and illusory. Other characters include: Padraic's bright and sober sister Silver (Kerry Condon), the mildly intelligent but sharp and kind-hearted young man Dominic (Barry Keohn), and Mrs. McCormick, who foretells her death (Sheila Freeton) and other islanders.

    Silver is a modern man with an independent will. She watched the battle from the sidelines and found it ridiculous to pity them. In the end she left the island and continued her life as a professional woman. Dominic, with clear eyes and a clear heart, died beautifully in his best youth, and he foretold his own death. Mrs. McCormick is a humanoid coagulation of power. She pointed out to the world the will to die. The villainous policeman father in Dominica, the naughty old woman in the small shop on the island, and the people who gather in the tavern every night are the epitome of secular society. They are the annoying spirits who will never be absent, and the backbone of maintaining the inertial life. These people make the presence of Colm and Padraic more real. Just like the struggle of the gods in Greek mythology, it has always been a series of stories.

    Stills of "The Banshee of Inisherin"

    There are many profound existential insights about this movie. A simpler understanding is to regard the breakup of these two men as a thrilling divorce lawsuit. As for people, it is always difficult to protect themselves while exploring their hearts. Hurt each other is a more effective way. Being challenged by philosophical thinking is a gift that only a few people can get, and hurting each other is a gift that most people can enjoy. It is the most interesting part of human beings getting along.

    In the process of Colm and Patrick hurting each other, the good one gradually showed a tendency to use violence, and the accumulation of hatred disintegrated his only life creed of "being a good person". The ruthless one who proposed to break up, because of seeing other characters revealed in the other party, re-interested in this boring good guy. The mini donkey died from his finger, which made him very sad again. When confessing to the priest, he showed admirable tenacity in obeying his inner conscience and ignoring the rules of the world.

    We watch as these two men morph and take on all sorts of faces as they fight, and empathy bounces back and forth between the two. In the end, with the house destroyed, they stand side by side on the beach, with Mrs. McCormick meditating on the hillside behind her.

    At this point we have already experienced all kinds of intense emotions from watching this movie. There are not many movies that show the burning of people's hearts, and even fewer of them are exhausted after burning. The conflagration at the end of "Inisherin" is so satisfying, because Colm's and Padraic's hearts have been destroyed by the fire before the fire ignited. After burning, only loneliness remains. Not feeling alone in the character's situation, but feeling alone in oneself.

    Fortunately there are others. Others are fire in hell, and the weaknesses of those closest to us are our own weaknesses. In the process of hurting each other, burn away the thoughts that make us uncomfortable. Just like in religious stories, the great protectors and great saints are often very violent and stubborn people, transformed through self-awareness.

    But first of all, there must be something very hot in the heart, so that it can be swept away by the fire. Fiery hearts are rare in modern life. Because of this, the simple and slow "Inisherin" has the texture of rare metal. It throws itself into the fire without haste. After watching a lot of the manic flicks that abound today, the simmering of Inisherin looks very different.

    Stills of "The Banshee of Inisherin"

    If the Japanese actress Kishirin lived to this day and watched this movie, she would probably resonate with her. The relationship between her and her husband Uchida Yuya is also a history of mutual harm for more than forty years. Few people can understand this extreme mutual hurt, and her determination to choose a long-term separation rather than dissolve the marriage relationship. According to Shu Shilin's own explanation, Uchida Yu also ignited the violent elements in her heart. Far from being a masochist or a victim, she was an even-handed rival who would fight and quarrel with her husband in public. She said that without Uchida, she doesn't know what kind of person she would become.

    If Colm hadn't had Padraic, or Padraic hadn't had Colm, their lives could have gone on. But when death is approaching, it may be difficult for them to face it calmly, because they will find that they have not had time to discover themselves and exhaust themselves.

    Well now, after this bloody breakup, they can face death. In the final scene, Padraic turns around and walks away first. Colm and the lying dog faced the sea, he clicked his lips and sighed silently.

    Stills of "The Banshee of Inisherin"


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