What Happened at the End of ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’: Did Padraic and Colm Rekindle Their Friendship?
“The Banshees of Inisherin,” directed by Martin McDonagh, is a thought-provoking dark comedy with a fantastic script, a standout performance, and stunning cinematography. Padraic and Colm, who were once best friends, appear in McDonagh’s film, which is set on a remote Irish island.
Padraic loved the serenity that came with leading a routine life. He followed the same routine every day, which included knocking on Colm’s door at 2:00 pm. However, Colm’s attitude abruptly changed, throwing Padraic’s life into total disarray.
With a straightforward approach, “The Banshees of Inisherin” begins with a fairly straightforward plot, but as it goes along, it increasingly focuses on its tragic comedy aspect, leading to a profound conclusion.
What Happened at the End of “The Banshees of Inisherin?”
Colm began to chop his fingers, as he had vowed to do if Padraic got in touch, and things quickly got dire. Although Padraic never believed him to be serious, it was now clear that he did mean what he said. Although cutting off his finger was initially painful, it soon became tolerable. He didn’t realise until Siobhan pointed it out that if he chopped his fingers, he wouldn’t be able to write music. Colm made snap judgments without giving them much thought. Perhaps he was actually amusing himself to pass the time before he died.
A library on the mainland sent Siobhan a letter of employment. Peadar’s vile remark only strengthened her resolve to leave the island. She had always wanted to go. It was difficult for her to leave her brother, but she reasoned that he needed to take control of his life without her continual support. Padraic lost not only his sole buddy, Dominic, but also her sister that day. Dominic was appalled when he explained how he deceived a music student to keep him away from Colm.
Padraic could not have descended to such a level, in his opinion. He declined to be pals with the now-aggressive Padraic. Padraic was all by himself after Dominic and Siobhan left. The only thing that could have given him comfort was his pet miniature donkey, Jenny, but Colm also took that away. Colm threw the final four fingers at Padraic’s house after he had left. Unfortunately, Jenny died after choking on one of his fingers.
Padraic was enraged; despite having put up with Colm’s abrupt behaviour change for so long, he could not forgive him for being responsible for Jenny’s demise. He approached Colm and vowed to burn his house at two in the afternoon, regardless of whether Colm tried to stop him. As he had promised, Padraic set the house on fire while leaving his dog inside.
Colm was sitting there when he looked inside the house. He was conscious that he was endangering not only Colm but also the house, but he didn’t give a damn. Dominic died that evening by suicide. Dominic was driven over the brink by his father’s persistent abuse, Siobhan’s rejection, and the loss of his sole good friend. Padraic noticed Colm at the beach the following morning.
He had been able to get away from the on-fire house. He thought that since his home had burned down, their dispute was finally resolved. However, it was far from over for Padraic. He likened their conflict to the ongoing conflict. He, too, was unable to move on after his life was torn apart; people can never remain unaffected by the war’s division.
“The Banshees of Inisherin” takes place in 1923 against the backdrop of the Irish civil war. Colm admitted to the priest that he was experiencing despair as a result of the war. Nothing in life was certain, and he had come to terms with the fact that he might die at any time. But giving up hope was a price that had to be paid for acceptance.
His obsession with creating music that would live on in memory only served to reinforce his fear of dying. By acknowledging that he would soon pass away, he also had to realise that his time on earth was limited and that he needed to leave a lasting impression. He had wasted hours with Padraic having pointless discussions, but he could no longer afford to.
A pleasant individual was no longer valued by society; instead, contributions to society were what mattered. He was altered by the war, and he became mired in the inevitable desolation of life. Padraic, in his opinion, was too innocent to spend his final days with. Or perhaps he wanted to destroy their friendship because he knew it was about to end; it was his method of lessening the agony of the unexpected absence.
Colm’s severed fingers served as a visual reminder of their physical separation. While frightening Padraic away, he was losing pieces of his body. Given that he aspired to compose music, he should have treasured his fingers, but perhaps for Colm, the pointlessness of it all was beginning to become more apparent. Padraic was naïve and “kind,” but Colm’s anger and despair transformed him.
He was impacted by the war indirectly as well. Old Padraic may not have considered it, but he could now kill a man in a fit of wrath. Their carefree existence was abruptly disrupted, and the person he loved the most walked away. Slowly, everything that had made him a good person vanished, leading him to become cruel and resentful.
The delicate, hilarious tone of “The Banshees of Inisherin” alludes to the cause of the abrupt argument between two adult male best friends who, at one point in their lives, could not imagine living without one another.
“The Banshees of Inisherin” made me think of William Henry Davies’ “Leisure,” I confess. The scourge of modernity is the incessant compulsion to produce. The movie investigates how the characters, particularly Colm, were impacted by the change in the political and economic climate. Colm’s existential crisis, brought on by old age and the start of the war, progressively changes into an existential nihilistic attitude (the chopping off of fingers).
Every character was in pain in some capacity. Men turned to make sexist remarks about Siobhan because she was a single woman when they failed to match her intelligence. Dominic experienced mental, bodily, and emotional suffering. With the help of Siobhan and Padraic, the misery inflicted upon him by his father was manageable, but as their separation increased, the pain devoured him.
Colm and Siobhan were among many who were leaving Padraic behind in quest of a more fulfilling life. The days of idly admiring fields and chatting about trivial aspects of life are long gone. Through the lens of a community that was not directly involved in the conflict but experienced a change in the mindset and desire of its residents, “The Banshees of Inisherin” examines the war from a distance.