Martin McDonagh's output thus far has been stellar. In Bruges was fantastic, Seven Psychopaths was hilarious, Three Billboards was dramatic, and The Banshees of Inisherin takes elements from all three to craft a masterful black comedy that flawlessly pivots into straight drama right when it needs to. Led by career-defining performances from Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, this film is not for the faint of heart. It deals with very difficult subject matter, such as depression, despair, suicide, loneliness, and the removal of one's fingers.
On the fictional Irish isle of Inisherin, in the year of our Lord 1923, two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse. Colm (Gleeson) abruptly decides he no longer wants to be friends with Padraic (Farrell), whom he suddenly realizes is dull and not worth his time. Padraic is confused and hurt, and continues to press Colm about why they're no longer friends. In response, Colm threatens to cut off his own fingers if Padraic ever talks to him again. Soon, Colm's despair has seemingly infected the whole isle, and after a sudden death, the black comedy goes away and we're now in the midst of a depressing drama that brings the audience down hard.
I see The Banshees of Inisherin making a considerable splash come awards season. It may be the most Irish film ever made, and it introduced me to the Irish swear word "feck," which is a different pronunciation of exactly what it sounds like. Farrell and Gleeson, as well as Kerry Condon as Padraic's exasperated sister Siobhan, are all fantastic, and McDonagh continues to prove he's one of the most creative and original filmmakers working today.