Last year, a movie that slipped under the radar and deserved greater recognition was ‘The Lighthouse. There were many blockbuster releases last year, like Avengers: Endgame, The Joker, Knives Out, etc. However, the Lighthouse with a mere $4 million USD budget managed to challenge them with its brilliance. In our review of the Lighthouse, we will dive deep into different aspects of the film to understand how great it is.
Premise and Genre
It is a story of two men trapped on a remote island, working at a lighthouse in the 1890s. Both the workers are working tirelessly in stormy weather trying to keep the Lighthouse lit. Although this seems like a simple premise, the movie delves into far deeper concepts. Officially, the film’s genre is a psychological horror. However, The Lighthouse doesn’t really follow a single genre. It transitions from being a comedy to a drama, and sometimes even into a scary movie altogether. Moreover, as a viewer, you are never sure of what is real in the movie and what isn’t. The movie has a different meaning for every person who views it. It can even have different meanings for a single viewer who watched it multiple times, which brings our review to the brilliance of the director, Robert Eggers.
Direction: Robert Eggers nailed it
Director Robert Eggers did an ecstatic job with the direction of the film. The movie was well edited and was entirely shot in Black and White. Moreover, the movie has a smaller aspect ratio than normal films. Interestingly though, the movie used darkness so well in its scenes that the smaller aspect ratio helps us focus at the center of the screen. Robert Eggers wrote the movie so well, that even Willem Dafoe’s farts were scripted and timed. Yes, you heard that right. Willem Dafoe confirmed that in this interview with Conan at TBS.
Acting: Dafoe and Pattinson’s finest work
The Lighthouse’s review would be incomplete without mentioning the brilliance of the characters and the acting. This is by far the best work Robert Pattinson has ever done. He portrayed his character’s immense depth and transition from being shy to insane quite brilliantly. In contrast, Willem Dafoe’s character stayed the same throughout the film but was very engaging for everyone. Moreover, the struggle between the two revolved around the respect or admiration they thought they deserved based on their work. Most of the viewers loved this struggle and the chemistry between Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson immensely. Both of them did incredible justice to this masterpiece.
The Lighthouse can easily be ranked as one of the, if not the best film of 2019. Every aspect of the film was almost flawless and critics absolutely loved watching this film. John Nugent from the Empire had this to say in his review:
Conjuring menace and mystery from solitude and seagulls, The Lighthouse is a folk tale, a black comedy, a horror, a mystery, a (platonic?) romance — and something more still, something unspeakable. Something like a masterpiece, perhaps.
A few years from now, it will inevitably cement its place as a Hollywood classic.