Pádraic Súilleabháin: You used to be nice. Or did you never used to be? Oh, God. Maybe you never used to be.
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan

Synopsis: Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them.

Friendship is an essential part of our lives as humans. We all desire to have meaningful connections with others and create long-lasting relationships. While it is relatively easy to make friends, keeping them can be challenging, especially as we grow older and our lives take different directions. In this film set against the backdrop of 1920’s Ireland, our main protagonist, Pádraic Súilleabháin, must deal with this existential question.

The central theme of the movie prompts introspection about the definition of friendship and the means to maintain it. Colin Farrell delivers an impressive performance as Pádraic Súilleabháin, whose biggest concern is how to preserve his friendship with his longtime friend, Colm Doherty (portrayed with remarkable gravitas by Brendan Gleeson). One morning he visits Colm only to be rejected without any explanation. Pádraic is a kind-hearted individual who finds solace in enjoying a drink with his mate. As the movie unfolds, viewers are compelled to reflect on their own relationships and the significance of maintaining them. One of the critical factors in maintaining friendships is communication. Communication helps to build trust, understanding, and respect between friends. It is essential to regularly check in with friends, listen actively, and respond to their needs. Regular communication ensures that you remain connected and informed about what is happening in each other’s lives. Additionally, it allows you to discuss challenges or conflicts that arise in the friendship, leading to a stronger bond. Colm disregards Pádraic with no explanation which is puzzling to him and makes the audience wonder what is going on too.

Martin McDonagh, the writer and director of the film, delivers a beautiful narrative with his calm and laid-back script. The movie features breathtaking Irish landscapes, with lush mountains and verdant greenery captured in stunning detail. The visual spectacle is a treat to watch and adds to the overall charm of the film.

In addition to exploring Pádraic’s friendship with Colm, the film delves into his relationship with his sister, Siobhán Súilleabháin, portrayed with heart-wrenching emotion by Kerry Condon. Siobhán is a meek, single Irish woman who yearns for a more exciting life. Despite her tough and straightforward demeanor, she deeply cares for her brother and empathizes with his situation. Furthermore, Pádraic and Siobhán take in Dominic Kearney, played brilliantly by Barry Keoghan. Initially introduced as the village fool, Dominic soon becomes a sympathetic friend to Pádraic during his moments of solitude.

As the film nears its conclusion, it takes a dark and introspective turn as Pádraic must come to terms with the loss of his friendship and the impact it has had on their community. Throughout the movie, we receive fragmented information about the Irish Civil War, a frequent topic of conversation among the islanders who hear the distant sound of rifles and canons. At one point, Pádraic admits to not knowing what the war is about, hinting at the film’s ultimate message. In the final scene, McDonagh draws a comparison between the war and Pádraic and Colm’s falling out. Colm tries to reconcile, discussing the war’s end and the cessation of fighting between him and his best friend. However, Pádraic, simmering with anger, cannot move on, and his gaze reveals his thoughts. The scene ends with Mrs. McCormick’s presence, draped in black, symbolizing the end of their friendship.

The film’s final moments, with a Banshee watching them from afar, provides a stark visual reminder of the rift between Pádraic and Colm, and the consequences of their lost friendship. The film leaves us pondering the value of friendship, the cost of losing it, and the tragedy of wars that cause irreparable harm, long after the fighting has stopped.


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