The Spirits of the Island is the new work of Martin McDonagh which gives us a photograph, a glimpse of the Irish past. To interpret the film are there Colin Farrell, which returns to be directed by the talented English director, with next door Brendan Gleeson chemically flawless given their past experience with In Bruges – The Assassin’s Conscience. Joins the team Kerry Condon which identifies all of us in this representation of Ireland, a harsh, cold and facade country compared to what one would expect.
I don’t like you
We are in 1923 under the Irish sky in a very small town immersed in the green countryside, with a cliff overlooking the sea. Pádraic, like every day, goes to the house of his best friend Colm to meet him and go together to the pub (the only one there is). As soon as he arrives on the spot, Pádraic understands that something is wrong with his drinking companion as the latter does not respond to his knock on the door or his insistent call: without giving too much weight, he goes to the pub anyway and orders a pint from the bartender, who surprised asks him what happened to Colm as the duo is literally known, for being like “ass and shirt”, in fact inseparable.
Pádraic doesn’t understand why his friend didn’t show up and goes home to his sister Siobhan, perplexed and agitated. Siobhan points out to Pádraic that he probably said something that bothered Colm and tells him to apologize; the following day the two have a confrontation in which Colm explains with a certain indifference that the stupidity of his lifelong friend has tired him and that, given that he is older than Pádraic, he needs to give a meaning to one’s life without talking about nothing, as often happens when dealing with Pádraic. Start a feud here no quarter between the two characters, sometimes comical but mostly tending towards the tragic, made up of insults, drinks, songs and self-flagellations.
The passage of time
The Spirits of the Island is an exceptional film, made up of dense and mellifluous moments, a story that will keep you suspended between a laugh and a tear while the harassment, bad tongues and situations flow like a river in front of you. From time to time the current will be light, calm and serene, on the other hand you could find yourself among the rapids of a flood and have to navigate some not easy ups and downs. Martin McDonagh paints a particular Ireland, divided between the circumstantial smile of the people you meet and the lies they tell, sometimes even to themselves; the cliffs overlooking the sea and that house of Colm right in front of the beach symbolize the smallness of man, of how much the latter is capable of creating problems even where there are none.
In all of this, Pádraic’s sister undoubtedly stands out, Siobhan, who really can’t stand the old women of the village anymore, the inherent stupidity of the brother and in general of the people of that island as ignorant (in the truest sense of the word). She reads books, in her gaze you can deduce a certain knowledge of the world and how it works: remains a woman and this is almost a fault in 1923, to the point that the co-star almost hates her condition and insults male stupidity, without being the least bit wrong.
An unforgettable film
Gli Spiriti dell’Isola is unforgettable: colors and sounds peculiar to an era that no longer exists mix with idiocy and stupidity forcing us to reflect, to take a step back and ask ourselves if it’s really worth it to bear so much grudge, if we really need to keep fighting each other. The condition of the protagonists is paradoxical because the civil war is raging in the country but in their small island the war does not physically arrive, the residents themselves bring it by magnifying simple and stupid problems that become “news” for the village. It is a place where there is little but which represents a lot and what little there is is “a lot” enough to start discussing. It’s not a film for everyone and it’s one you’ll probably see once or twice in your life, but it’s crucial that cinema still tells similar storieslight moments that force you to think about the long term, about the choices you’ve made and are still pursuing.
The Spirits of the Island
9 Final Vote
Spirits of the Island is not a film for everyone and it is a film that you will probably see once or twice in your life but it is essential that cinema is still telling similar stories, light moments that force you to think in the long run, the choices that you did and are still carrying on. Martin McDonagh paints a particular Ireland, divided between the circumstantial smile of the people you meet and the lies they tell, sometimes even to themselves. Gli Spiriti dell’Isola is unforgettable: colors and sounds typical of an era that no longer exists mix with idiocy and stupidity forcing us to reflect, to take a step back and ask ourselves if it’s really worth bringing so much grudge.
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