The Lighthouse – Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Lighthouse – Warning in the Lights: Mythos of the Mind

The eyes of art lie within the truth of the vision.  The unfolding story will follow a certain pedigree, even if it tells something different.  In film, it can speak of purity through a higher level of visual storytelling.  In this review, I look at one of those film.  With strong characters and oddities that become relative, The Lighthouse tethers on the arthouse line to create something truly … different.

The story follows Thomas Howard (Robert Pattinson) and Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe), two men that must find a way to work together at a remote lighthouse in New England.  The beginning is a subtle introduction to the two characters and setting, before the direction pushes the idea of characterization within visual mythos.  The plot is built through a methodical approach of doing more with less.  In the first half, you have mundane scenarios covered with crass, unexpected and ambiguous visuals.  Watching Howard and Wake work through their daily routines of maintaining the lighthouse draw you into the fragmented oddities of the remote area.  The subtle use of nature, mythical creatures and unexpected interactions bring meaning without explanation.  The slow build and fragmented pace can feel lazy, but the key is the relationship between Howard and Wake.  Howard is new and must take orders from the veteran of the island, Wake.  Watching their personalities clash creates tension that layers within the atmospheric detail of the remote island/lighthouse.  Their daily duties and raw conversations create heighten awareness of their battles against isolation, angst, sexual indulgence and other fragile human behavior.  This creates a connection to the ominous visuals that slowly begin to reveal the mystery behind the lighthouse.

As the story progresses, it becomes a battle of reality and comprehension.  There are things that begin to happen that start to drive Howard into mental spiral.  This creates an alluring path towards Wake.  As unexpected things blur his own emotional stability, it leads to a crossroads where mythos blends with the obvious.  The bending of reality starts to have a ripple effect on their relationship.  The final act consists of thematic detail through visual storytelling.  This leads to conclusions of reality for Howard and Wake that will either make or break the audience’s own fulfillment of the journey.  The Lighthouse is an arthouse film that pushes forward a mythos that blends the idea of storytelling and visual prowess.  Even if things are left generally unexplained, the strong acting keeps you going to the end.  It is available for streaming on Amazon Prime, but I would only recommend this for indie lovers out there.        

Full Score – 3 out of 5 (Theater Discount)

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