The Lighthouse (2019) – Review

Two lighthouse keepers attempt to maintain their sanity while living on a remote, secluded and mysterious New England island in the 1890’s. For four weeks, the men will only have themselves for company, will they crack under the pressure of isolation and allow their tension and hatred towards each other to boil over? Definitely one of the finest cinema releases of 2019 and one that is definitely worth a watch.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Director: Robert Eggers
Writers: Robert Eggers, Max Eggers
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe

I’m not quite sure why it’s taken me so long to watch The Lighthouse – they say some films are worth the wait, and that’s certainly a true statement when it comes to this one. Despite originally being apprehensive when it came to the black and white cinematography and 1.19 : 1 aspect ratio, my fears were quickly put to bed, as the movie seemed to perfectly suit both filming styles. The filmmakers managed to pull off a genuinely authentic feel, especially when you factor in the notion that the flick was based well over one hundred years ago in the late 1800’s.

Filmed over several locations, spanning across North America – Canada to be exact – the cinematography in general was really impressive and managed to give the viewer a tremendous insight into what it must have been like for real lighthouse keepers during the time depicted. The sheer sense of isolation and loneliness translated onto the screen with ease and one aspect that did stand out above everything would have to be the beautiful, yet menacing soundtrack.

In terms of the story, it could be argued that a little bit of substance was missing when it came to the depth of the tale, but at the same time, it could be challenged that this was an insightful picture, that successfully highlighted the gradual demise of each of the two characters on display, due to the extreme isolation and bizarre surroundings the pair had to endure.

Another aspect of the film worth highlighting comes in the form of the acting performances by the two men portraying the lighthouse keepers. Robert Pattinson adopted the role of Winslow, while Willem Dafoe portrayed Thomas – both produced fine displays and received huge praise, with the latter perhaps standing out the most. The crazy, psychotic ramblings along with intense facial expressions are that of an actor you’ll not forget in a hurry.

At times, The Lighthouse seemed like a dark, hard hitting drama, but then all of a sudden there were subtle moments of comedy and also elements of a horror thrown in there too. Overall, The Lighthouse may not be for everyone, but its unique style may stand out for some.

“Alright, have it your way. I like your cooking…”

Winslow – The Lighthouse

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