This is one of the most remarkable, and strange films that I’ve ever seen. It’s a slow burn that’s backed by what feels like a classically shot film. This is presented with a 1.19: 1 aspect ratio with black and white as the coloring. It’s a mono deafening mix and has all the beautiful grain that you would expect from something shot on 35mm.
Now, these are elements that I would normally never mention in a review except these really do help make this film. This feels like something of the time, and that helps to set the tone of what’s about to happen on the screen. It comes across as watching something from the era, but with a sort of modern sleekness within the editing. Just simply put, it’s beautiful. That cinematography is gorgeous, and the entire way this is shot only propels the narrative.
This is set on a mysterious England island during the 1890’s. It follows two men as they work at this posting, and endure an on-going situation that’s both perplexing to them, and to the viewer. It’s best to lightly touch on elements and just set up the situation. Anything past that is too spoilerish, and will ruin the unfolding events that take place over the course of the movie. This is something that should be enjoyed fresh, with only a minimal context to take into a viewing.
The entirety of the narrative is focused on just two individuals, and their performances really do help elevate the experience. You have the young Winslow (Robert Pattinson) who is pushed hard work wise and a rather lazy leader in Thomas (Willem Dafoe).
These two bring it all, and deliver some stunning moments. Times of chills, madness and some of the most amazing monologues that I’ve ever seen on the screen. This is also a very graphic experience, and neither hold back at any moment. It’s a film of mystery, wonder and atmosphere.
The audio ties in beautifully to what’s being shown and the deafening mixture that sometimes fades to silence is just too impactful. It also comes together in an insane way that does make you question what actually happened. It’s so special to come out of a theater and try to understand what just unfolding in front of you, that’s special, and so is this experience.
The Lighthouse is an incredibly impactful film that will have you questioning what’s going on the entire way through. That’s great here, you’re entirely engaged and hooked on every single word that’s presented. The use of atmosphere, audio and presentation come together perfectly here. It’s a striking film that feels like a classic movie that’s been propelled by some modern techniques.
It’s visceral, it’s unsettling and just amazing. The acting is stunning, the two leads carry this beyond what I expected. For something that contains such a mundane concept, it excels beyond many other viewing options out there. This was an experience that will delight and perplex you far beyond its initial run time. That being said, at times the pacing did seem to stretch.
That’s seen in the run time, but it’s so worthwhile to get through. It also adds to the sense of how mad it becomes. A stunning viewing, one that truly will get you thinking. Past that, it’s a simply remarkable experience in terms of the narrative and in how it’s visually presented as movies just aren’t like that anymore.
The Lighthouse Review at Theater with Standard Viewing