A simple tale set in a fictional Irish village with a theme that is anything but simpleVery few films continue to haunt us long after we’ve exited the theatre. The Banshees of Inisherin is definitely one such movie. Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) abruptly stops talking to his best friend Padraic (Colin Farrell), a rather ‘simple man’, much younger in age to him. Colm who is prone to bouts of depression feels that the ‘dull’ Padraic is a hindrance to his pursuit of giving back something lasting to society in the form of art and music. Padraic is devastated and tries to seek a reason from his friend who forms the core of his existence along with his sister Siobhan (Kerry Condon) and his donkey. Set in the fictional quaint village of Inisherin in Ireland in the 1920’s, the Irish Civil war that happens in the background is used as a beautiful metaphor for the conflict between Colm and Padraic when Colm himself at one point in the movie listens to the sound of cannon fire and remarks, “Do they even know what they are fighting about?”This estrangement between the friends takes a rather serious and alarming turn eventually resulting in Padraic losing the things most precious to him: his sister who cannot comprehend the madness anymore and leaves the island for the mainland, and the accidental death of his donkey. Compounding matters is the suicide of young and troubled Dominic Kearney (Barry Keoghan) who had always looked upon Padraic as his only friend in the island and who cannot come to terms with the darker side of Padraic following the rift with Colm. The theme of the film can best be summed up in one phrase: ‘Rejection and its consequences’. Extreme love for a person when rejected (without notice) can lead to tragic consequences and it can happen to anyone. It need not be just between two friends like Colm and Padraic, it can happen to anyone: lovers, father and son, mother and daughter etc. It’s like the carpet has been pulled from under one’s feet, the bedrock of the emotional core of the person is disturbed and it doesn’t take long for the victim to become aggressive or violent. The purest of love is transformed into an extreme hatred as in the case of Padraic. Any attempts at reconciliation at this point fail. Colm towards the end of the movie tries to make small talk with Padraic suggesting they put their troubles behind them but Padraic is in no mood to listen to him anymore. As both the former friends leave in opposite directions, the Banshee Mrs McCormick watches them from the top of a knoll sitting in front of Colm's burnt cottage. Her presence signals death, the irrevocable death of the friendship of Colm and Padraic. This is by no means an endorsement of violence resorted to by victims of ‘rejection’. It has absolutely no place in a civilized society. Yet, when it comes to understanding something as complex as the human mind, awareness of the problem or acknowledging it is the first step towards trying to decipher a solution to it. That is why movies like ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ are so vital and unique. They create that much needed awareness in a subtle way and transcend the general dictum that the primary function of cinema is ‘merely to entertain’. A movie definitely worthy of an Oscar!