“Two lighthouse keepers try to maintain their sanity whilst living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.” – IMDB
This movie is NUTS. Let’s get that out of the way first. I’m not into drugs (booze is my game), but I feel like if I mixed quaaludes, coke, pills, acid, and some shrooms, this movie would come out. That being said, it is PHENOMENAL and DEFINITELY not for everyone. Let me clarify…
The movie is presented as a drama/horror, but that description missed two key elements that are important to the film. First, the dark comedy. Both Dafoe and Pattinson (we’ll get to them more later) do a wonderful job of injecting levity and comedy into a bizarre, dark situation and a harsh environment.
Second, its authenticity. And no, I’m not saying that in an actor-y “oh the beautiful authenticity of the performance” way. I’m saying that, as an audience member, you can tell some intense research went into making this movie authentic. Except for some very mature content that wouldn’t be allowed back then, the visuals of the movie make you feel like your watching one of the early films with sound. It was shot on film and on location, so there is an artifice that is stripped from the get go. The language is also absolutely gorgeous. The Eggers brothers took such care in writing this and pulling from literary sources in order to take you to that place and time. Honestly, I could listen to Willem Defoe deliver his Shakespearean-type monologes all day long. And as nerdy as that may sound, if you see it, you’ll understand.
Speaking of Dafoe, MY GOD! We all know he’s good, but he gives this thing his all. There’s nothing left by the end, you feel like you’ve seen him pour his soul into this. And then Pattinson. I’ve only seen him in Harry Potter because I was turned off of his Twilight, “it” boy persona. And it seems he was too, because you can feel him pushing himself to and past the limit. It’s a shame that the Oscars are so predictable, because there was really no chance of this movie winning many awards because its too avant garde for the academy, but the acting, writing and cinematography was some of the best I’ve seen.
But let me, again, remind you that this movie is NOT for everyone. If you’re not into weird, it’s not for you. If you’re not into explicit, it’s not for you. No judgment, it’s one of those things that isn’t going to connect with everyone, but you are able to connect with it, it’s a magical, mystical, mind-bending trip. Enjoy the ride!
Rating: 9 out of 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also see: The Witch, The Northman
With: Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson
Directed By: Robert Eggers