Like a moth to a damn big light, the hype emanating from The Lighthouse was bright enough to attract me to a neighbouring city to experience it.
I could have just said that I’d watched The Lighthouse. Or that I’d seen The Lighthouse. No no, that just wouldn’t do. I definitely experienced this film. Perhaps more than that…I survived it. Like the light-keepers involved, I couldn’t wait to be clear of the island, though that doesn’t mean I disliked it.
A booming soundtrack, little used aspect ratio, and black and white image all add to a pervasively dark and questioning story. Though with little actually happening story wise, it all hinges on the two actors at its centre. Defoe fairs better I feel, his beard and impressive monologue at risk of overshadowing Pattinson’s younger and less-experienced Wickie. For both characters, the descent into lunacy is rapid, soon reaching a point where they aren’t even sure how long they’ve been together. A large case of alcohol does little to help matters but it does give the actors a chance to let loose. This powerful acting however, did little to help me understand what exactly was going on.
A previous version of SDCC would have written The Lighthouse off as an ‘arty farty’ film. I don’t label films quite like that now, and I can see a lot of quality work has gone into The Lighthouse. But there isn’t anything I can really hold onto to take away with me. Ultimately I’ll remember some human fluids and an argument over lobster dinners. Is that enough to recommend it? Maybe. Am I glad I experienced it? Yes.