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“The Lighthouse”

Movie Review

By Drew SanEmeterio

Published November 12, 2019


Robert Pattinson. Willem Dafoe. The director from “The Witch” and some beautiful cinematography. All of this and more can be found in “The Lighthouse” now playing.


“The Lighthouse” is the story of two lighthouse keepers in late 1800’s New England. Ephraim Winslow, the younger of the two lighthouse keepers played by Robert Pattinson, is accompanied by his older companion Thomas Wake, played by Oscar winning Willem Dafoe, as they must live and work together to maintain their lighthouse.


Over the course of the film, the two characters relationship with one another goes through ups and downs as they are forced to work and live with one another on a small island. Their only contact with life, besides each other, is the never-ending presence of seagulls, which are told to carry the souls of past lighthouse keepers who have died on the rock before them.


What makes this film more unique than the Hollywood hits out today, is the way in which it was filmed.


Devoid of color, the use of 35mm film allows for the viewer to truly become absorbed in the time period that this film takes place in. Without distractions from an over-abundant use of special effects, you are dragged out of your seat and into the lighthouse itself.


While the cinematography is beautiful, the plot may come across as confusing. Riddled with symbolism and motifs, drawing inspiration from Greek mythology, “The Lighthouse” will not hold your hand through its ninety-minute run time; it will move forward, and if you are not keeping up, it will leave without you.


Robert Eggers, the director of “The Lighthouse” made his debut in 2015 with the critically acclaimed film “The Witch,” a psychological-horror movie about a small family living in 1630’s New England who become cursed.


Eggers chose not to stray too far from his comfort zone for the production of “The Lighthouse.”


While the plot may suffer from some issues, the performances from Dafoe and Pattinson prevailed.


Robert Pattinson has struggled to make a name for himself since being cast as Edward from the Twilight series.


Through his performance in “The Lighthouse,” Patterson has gone on to prove that his acting skills continue far beyond his role as a pasty vampire.


Dafoe has been on an absolute hot streak of noteworthy films these past few years, with Oscar nominations for “The Florida Project” and his own passion project “At Eternity’s Gate,” a Vincent Van Gogh biopic.


Dafoe continues this hot streak with another entrancing performance. Throughout the film, Dafoe has various monologues, ranging from only a minute, to some lasting upwards of five minutes.


With “The Lighthouse,” Eggers has proven himself to be a director to look out for in the future. He has found his niche in film, weaving together stories that will not age and pushing the creative boundaries of what is capable in cinema.


“The Lighthouse” is currently playing in theatres located in the nearby Crossgates Mall as well as the Colonie Mall.