‘Banshees’ is a war with no victors

Searchlight Pictures/Entertainment Pictures/Zuma Press/TNS Brendan Gleeson, left, and Colin Farrell in “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

Martin McDonagh’s new movie “The Banshees of Inisherin” is a blackly comic version of the friends-in-conflict theme, set in 1923, on a fictitious isolated island off the mainland coast of Ireland, where the Irish Civil War is raging. The plot concerns two very different wars, one vaguely religious and one extremely personal, and both are cruel and vindictive.

The script tells a unique story, though this isn’t immediately apparent. It begins with a young farmer heading down to the local pub for a stout, a daily ritual he has followed for most of his life. As far as the viewer is concerned, a man spending his evening at a pub with his cronies night after night is about as interesting as the climate of fog and rainfall.

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