THE LIGHTHOUSE (2019)

Directed by: Robert Eggers
Screenplay by: Robert Eggers, Max Eggers

In his best performance to date, Robert Pattinson plays a lighthouse apprentice assigned to a much older keeper played by Willem Dafoe. Set in Nova Scotia in the 1890’s, this film takes place in an isolated lighthouse. As a never-ending storm rages, the men fight to maintain their sanity.

By using time appropriate set and costume design, director Robert Eggers creates a film visually fitting the time it is placed. He also chose to use 35mm black and white film at 1.19:1 aspect, which is the presentation of film used at the time. This heightens the eeriness and increases the tension felt between our two players by focusing on the claustrophobic nature of being trapped in the small frame and therefore the lighthouse.

This film is beautifully shot by Jarin Blaschke (The Witch). He is highly skilled at what he does, almost to the point it doesn’t even feel like artistic choices being made. The choices all seep into the background and one is able to focus on film without being pulled out. The editing is also well done. There are times when one isn’t able to make sense of what they are seeing and it adds to the mania of the characters and the observed discomfort.

To top it off there are so many influences, the film feels a bit crowded and disjointed. From Roman mythology, classic power struggle and Jungian psychology, this film has numerous underlying themes that play off of and against one another. This makes for a difficult watch but is a very rich and worthwhile film for genre enthusiasts to tackle.

– Review by Jessie Zumeta


Have you seen THE LIGHTHOUSE? Well, what did you think? 

7 thoughts on “THE LIGHTHOUSE (2019)

  1. Nice review Jessie. I was so excited for this one but left disappointed. Loved the style and performances, but felt it started repeating itself too much and the ending was a little too off the rails for me.

  2. It is a difficult watch, I agree. The smorgasbord of references is something I didn’t think about until you said it, but yes, I agree. My main problem was the bouncing back and forth from real to nightmare fantasy. The ambiguity there doesn’t work for me.

  3. I have heard a lot about this film tangentially (like awards it deserved), but this was the first thing I read about it directly. I am looking forward to checking it out. Good teaser article.

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