The Lighthouse

Where to begin with this one? It is a harder question than most as The Lighthouse is one of the weirdest films I have seen in a long time. Verging on the experimental, Robert Eggers’ follow up to The Witch is a monochromatic delight for the eyeballs, full of gusto, bravado and a great big dollop of charisma. But, when it comes to what it is all about, that is where it falls out of place.

I found it really hard to say that I loved this film, or even that I liked it, such is the intangibility of what is happening. What I do know is that the performances of Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are out of this world. Both of them. Top notch, swinging-from-the-rigging, totally sea-worthy, passionate, committed performances that definitely deserve some recognition and are irresistible, engaging and intriguing. Add to that the direction of Eggers to bring this nightmarish and dreamlike scenario to life in such a turbulent and maddening way is astounding. I’m a bit of a sucker for modern-made, black and white films and credit to Jarin Blaschke’s cinematography as the cramped, black and white, 1.19:1 ratio not only looks superb but it draws you in and provides a level unease throughout the duration but most effectively in the shared spaces of this isolated and miserable 1890’s New England island lighthouse.

In complete contrast to the wide-open spaces and leisurely pace of The Witch, The Lighthouse delivers hysteria and hallucinatory aplenty as the small living space becomes ever smaller and more manic and tensions build and grow until they can’t be held in any more.

The Lighthouse is definitely a film to experience at least once, but if after that you aren’t eager to see it again straight away then that is noting to worry about. As with The Witch, Robert Eggers is sure to prove divisive again here, but I am incredibly keen to have multiple more watches of this mad film to try to unpack more of what it is trying to do and say.


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