“How long have we been on this rock? Five weeks? Two Days? Where are we?”
The Lighthouse is a truly visceral film that will leave you reeling with madness – just like it’s central characters. To watch The Lighthouse is to become trapped in the lighthouse.
Robert Pattinson plays Ephraim, who is sent to a remote Lighthouse for 4 weeks to take over the role of Wickie, assistant to Willem Dafoe’s lighthouse keeper Thomas.
Willem is controlling, aggressive and flatulent. Ephraim is to keep out of his way, do the basic maintenance tasks, and stay away from the light. Resentment deepens as the days go on, and the pair start to fall into madness. Time loses all meaning, and at points you’ll question not only how much time has passed within the film, but how long you yourself have been sat in the theatre.
I felt physically shaken after leaving my screening of The Lighthouse and had to walk in silence for 20 minutes whilst I questioned what I had just seen and what on Earth happened within the film.
That is not to say it is scary or creepy, it is just, quite literally, bonkers. Pattinson and Dafoe rise to the task with a terrifying ease, and the pair fill the screen with every emotion from joy to apathy to hysteria. The visuals of the film are not to be ignored either, it can feel barren and sparse and overwhelmingly claustrophobic, and the choice to film the entire piece in black and white only solidifies the surrealist narrative and plot structure. There’s a reason it got an Oscar nod for Cinematography.
Whilst being the only two human inhabitants of the island, a special mention must go out to the enigmatic seagulls. Seagulls always get their revenge.
It’s hard to talk too much about The Lighthouse, because it is a film that is somehow about nothing, and yet about everything. There’s a reason people haven’t stopped talking about it since its debut over six months ago, and people will continue to talk about it for as long as the cast and crew are around. It’s a truly brilliant and masterful film unlike any other I have seen and am likely to see again.
And at the end of the day, who doesn’t want to watch a hysterical Robert Pattinson angrily masturbating over a psychotic mermaid?