The Lighthouse (2019) – Movie Review

After all the praise this movie got, I had to go and see it for myself. Here was my first mistake : high expectations for this movie. Instead, what I got was a disturbing movie, but with a strong and beautiful acting, love the Lovecraftian references from both characters but very disappointing outcome overall in the execution. Before everyone throws their knives at me, let me explain and put you in some context why I didn’t like this movie as much as I want to.

CONTEXT

During my time in College, I acquainted a group of friends from the Cinema & Filmography department. Eventually, with my curious mind, they would introduce me to their cinematography events and classes : some have directed their own movies, some wrote the screenplay, short movies presentations and so on. I learned a great deal about the art of motion-picture filming.

What I noticed throughout those screenings and analysis was : 1. The reason people put the movie in black & white in 80% is because they want the movie to look artsy.2. if you want to go for a specific time period, you should stick to it and commit 100%. 3. if the dialogue is not clear to the spectators, what is even the point.

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Now, I understand that the point to make this movie entirely black and white is because they want us to be plunged back into that time period in the mid 1950s, adding to the grainy and dusty atmosphere. But if they really wanted to go for that vibe, they should’ve went full on effects for the rest of the movie. Blurred some lines here and there, loosen the focus a bit. Instead, they kept the super high quality of the 21st century but only to reduce everything to black and white.

My second problem with this movie was the slow pace. A forced slow pace almost. Some movies with very slow pace I could understand the need for it, to build up the suspense, to develop a character. But oh my god, the pace in this movie sometimes just feels… unnecessary. We have way too many scenes of random slow boats, slow smoke, slow waves. We get it. It’s atmospheric, now can we move on?

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The third problem is the absence of subtitles. It’s weird I know it’s in English, but if you plan on watching this movie know that you wouldn’t probably understand a few words and it’s normal. The monologues were great but I remember I just blacked out on the scenes because I couldn’t figure out what he was saying.

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The overall feeling of this movie is “trying way too hard to be artistic”. I can appreciate the acting and the slow downhill into hallucinations because of the isolation. But the random mermaid references, and the tentacles here and there were just a bit too much of an allegory. The first time a masturbation scene was featured I said okay. .we get the message. But the 2nd, and 3rd? I don’t think that was necessary, we all get it that men need to think about sex when left alone. And about that ending, I’m going to end this post by saying this : I’m sorry but that ending à la Fight Club is overused.

RATING: 6/10 ( all the points go to the acting and the soundtrack)

Did you watch the movie? What did you think about it?

trang

3 comments

  • “Trying too hard to be artistic” is the exact vibe I got from this film and Eggers’s last film, The Witch. I might give it a chance once it arrives on a streaming service, but I get the feeling I would find it lacking in substance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was going to watch that movie but now that you mentioned the same vibe I don’t think I will 😂 I really had a hard time appreciating this one. Just too many unnecessary scenes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You know how there’s this perception that arthouse films are pretentious slogs that few normal people like? In reality, I would actually say a majority of the classic arthouse films I’ve seen are a lot more down-to-Earth than that perception suggests. The Witch, on the other hand, feels like it was made by someone who caught wind of it and thought “I should totally make a film like that”. Sadly, a lot of A24 films are like this; it’s as though they’re afraid of expanding their audience. I haven’t seen this film, but if you didn’t care for it, I can surmise that The Witch won’t win you over.

        Like

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