Review: The Lighthouse

Are you going mad?

Winslow (Robert Pattinson) takes a job as a lighthouse keeper with veteran Thomas (Willem DaFoe) somewhere off the coast of New England in the 1890's. He eventually begins to question his sanity.

I'm perplexed with this film. On one hand, I'm glad something so very art house is getting a wide(ish) release here in the States, but the other part of me can't say I actually enjoyed watching all of this. 

There is a lot to like about this, don't get me wrong. The way its shot makes it seem like it could've came from the 1930's. I normally dislike black and white in current films but the smaller aspect ratio and the grim tones 100% contribute positively to the narrative. This couldn't be done in color. It would've looked goofy. After all, this is a film that begins with a fart joke of all things. We need that extra bleakness on top of it.

Acting wise, Pattinson and DaFoe are great, they nail all the emotional beats but Pattinson's accent gets away from him. To be fair, I think it's an intentional thing based on his character's back story but he loses it when he's shouting. This is unfortunate because a lot of this film is them shouting monologues at each other. 

This brings me to the story. I don't think there was enough here to fill its nearly 2 hour run time. If you thought director Robert Eggers' previous film, The Witch had a pacing issues, you will likely think one does too. The tone and the hardships this job entails are set almost immediately. We didn't have to dwell on it so much to get the big picture. I suppose that could also be intentional. Perhaps he wanted the audience to go crazy along with Winslow.

By the time you're actually reading this, I'll have edited this review several times. I'm so torn on what to grade it. This is an incredible bit of filmmaking and I admire a lot of what it did. (A+ trolling seagull) but I can't see myself wanting to revisit this.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: C+. (Aka the exact middle ground of my grading system)

Memorable Quote: "Alright, have it your way. I like your cooking."

Comments

  1. This has finally opened in my area (with Jojo Rabbit and Parasite all in the same weekend). Plan on seeing it as I am really intrigued (and I loved The Witch). But something about this hasn't sparked my excitement. I can't put my finger on it.

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    1. I'm interested in what you think, it's so weird. This is almost like It Comes At Night for me, where the trailer sold me immediately and I wanted to love it, but I just couldn't.

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  2. Ugh. I am not sure if after 4 days of reading legal shit for 11h a day I want to spend my Friday on watching 1 hour story stretched to 2....but then again I'll never understand what they are saying without subtitles

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    1. It's actually not as hard to understand them as I thought it would be but those are always nice. lol

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  3. Pattinson's accent is allllllllllll over the place. had no idea where he was supposed to be from. i honestly only like the cinematic experience--sound editing, mixing, cinematography. nothing else about this movie impressed me

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    1. It really is. It had to be intentional...right? Please say it's so. But you're absolutely spot on. Technically this film is great, story it lacks.

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  4. Sorry it didn't work for you but I can understand why as yes, the pacing is slow and sluggish. It's one of my qualms about the film but I still enjoyed it. Especially for the visuals and sound design.

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    1. The visuals are wonderful, had they been anything less I think this film would've been quite unbearable.

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  5. I was trying to work out from your gif on Twitter how you actually felt about this one, ha!
    I need to find a way to see this soon because it's not coming out in the UK till the end of Jan and it sounds so crazy I know I'll love it or hate it.

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    1. The blank stare, grabbing my purse and leaving felt so appropriate because what the actual fuck? lol

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  6. Argh!! No fair!! I am skipping this cos I am looking forward to it, but its coming out here 31 Jan next year!! Dang it! Bummer to hear you thought it was average, I still can't wait tho

    btw i watched Fast Colour :) I heard about it here first, and LOVED it. Gonna write something up soon :)

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    1. YAY! I'm glad you liked Fast Color. I hope you like The Lighthouse more than I did too lol

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  7. This is finally playing near me! I'm always meh on films with pacing issues, but I'll give this a try. Plus, the seagull....

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    1. I thought that segull poster was a joke at first but nope. Trolling seagull is the best character.

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  8. I expect I'll appreciate the visuals and performances by the actors and seaguls?! The slowish pacing might be a deal breaker.

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    1. I Hope you like the seagull as much as I did. lol

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  9. Good review! I want to see this, mostly because it's filmed like a 1930s film and the actors...but if it has the same pacing issues as The Witch, I fear I won't like it as much I'd like to. I hope to check it out before award season starts.

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    1. I'm sure DaFoe will get a nomination or will be close to one. It is shot beautifully.

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