By Drake Vittitow
I was very reluctant to review this movie when “The Lighthouse” first released.
A black and white movie that is shot vertically and has only two characters? I know, it is not the most appealing superficial look for a casual moviegoing experience but trust me when I say that “The Lighthouse” is the most twisted and mind-numbing experience that moviegoers will experience in all of 2019.
Written and directed by Robert Eggers (The Witch), “The Lighthouse” features Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as two lighthouse keepers that slowly diverge into insanity while maintaining their post on a remote New England island in the 19th century.
First and foremost, Robert Pattinson cashes in on the best performance he has ever delivered. Long gone are the days of fangirls obsessing over the former “Twilight” star. Now, he shows off his acting chops on every emotional level, ranging from hysterical highs to painful lows. All of these emotions are due to his slow descent into madness.
While watching this movie, I felt that I was sharing his feeling of insanity. Partly because of the performance given, but also because of the brilliance in directing by Eggers. Eggers’s last film, “The Witch,” was another slow-burning movie that was eerie and unforgiving all the same. However, this tops it.
There are a lot of directors that are showoffs and moviegoers can tell while they’re watching the movie. Eggers is not that.
While he does show off, it is in a very subtle way. He’s saying, “Look at me,” but he does it in a way that seeps into the background. There are very few directors that are so good at what they do that the audience stops analyzing all of the camera angles and shots and makes them focus on the film in front of them. He is a wizard behind the camera.
What makes this movie different from others is simple – it is ambiguous. If you are the type of movie watcher that loves concrete endings, then this is most definitely not the movie for you. You could watch this movie with five of your friends, and each of you would take away different meanings from the movie.
It is that good.
It eats away at you. It makes you want to start a dialogue. It is the kind of movie where you can sit around and ponder what in the world you just saw and what it means. It is a type of movie that only comes around every so often because of its difficulty to pull off.
This movie was not designed to be answered right away, but watchers should not take that as an insult to their intelligence.
This is easily the most beautiful movie I have seen this year, and I believe that everybody should watch it at least once.
Just mind the gulls and siren songs.