“Why’d ya spill yer beans”Review by Lewis Goodall
This film summed up in one sentence. The shining but on a rock. You can skip straight to the score now if you want.
The Lighthouse, Directed by Robert Eggers, tells ye the tall tale of two lighthouse keepers. Both work to maintain the island and keep the lighthouse running. Maintaining the lighthouse is no problem but the true challenge comes when they both start having to maintain their own sanity on this remote island.
I wouldn’t be opposed to watching this film with subtitles. It’s in English but i just can’t talk like the men of the sea. I did have moments throughout the film where I just had to go off what was happening visually because Neptune knows what they we’re saying. I had no problem going from what was happening visually because they film is gorgeous and what i’ll be bursting about most in this review so lets talk about he other aspects first.
The performances of both Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson hit like sledgehammers, and yes i’m stealing that from the trailer because it is just so accurate. They both offer absolute knockout acting in this film, just like i said, they were sometimes so convincing that I really didn’t know what they we’re saying (in a good way). Both of them on screen we’re incredible. Their characters clash throughout but over time bond with each other. Cabin fever starts to take over the longer they both stay on the island. That’s pretty much how the story goes, two men get lost in their own sanity and go bat shit crazy on each other.
Within the story there are loooooooooooooads of cryptic messages just waiting to be analysed by conspiracy theorists. It’s a thinker for sure, it leaves you with many questions but ones that you want to explore. I would love to know more about the lore of this island and it’s history. I want to hear more tales about the sea and old myths that people believed to be true. Like how it’s bad luck to kill a sea bird, didn’t know that. Wish i knew that before when i watch a seagull nearly choke on a full sized battered sausage, but to be fair it was a twat for stealing my sausage. I’m happy with all the questions this film left me with, I want to go back and watch it again to uncover all the tales it’s left behind.
Now allow me to unleash my love for the visuals of this film all over your eyes. THIS. FILM. IS. GORGEOUS. Maybe people wouldn’t agree but i love monochrome, adds a certain grittiness to any photo or film so the lack of colour in this tale really helped with its tone. As well as being black and white, the composition of every shot was crafted to look like a photo you would get on a postcard from Hastings. I understand why 1917 won the oscar for best cinematography but seeing this now makes me wish that this won because it was just so unique. I guess that’s what i loved about it was the fact that it was so different. Now onto my favourite aspect of the visuals ( Yep, haven’t even got to that yet) was the aspect ratio. The aspect ratio is 1.19:1 and it’s very confined. It’s a very squashed in aspect ratio which a lot of people would probably find distracting but I felt it offered to the experience perfectly. Being confined paralleled the idea of cabin fever so that the viewer also has that trapped feeling throughout and i just love that extra layer to film making that hits differently.
Overall I don’t want to speak about what happens in the film too much because I feel it’s best experienced but it’s seriously an experience I would recommend. Parts of the story get a bit stagnant but it’s not enough for a crab to inhabit so it’s fine ( writing that i think the cabin fever is starting to hit me). It’s a nightmare this film in the best possible way and it feels a lot like an old tale a scurvy ridden man would tell you, again, in the best possible way. Watch it.