The Lighthouse (2019) – directed by Robert Eggers

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2019 film poster for The Lighthouse (Wikipedia)

The dark, alarming sounds of Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse and its secrets will keep an audience thrilled throughout.

Right from the start of the movie, when the ship arrives at the lighthouse, the audience is greeted by the startling sounds that welcome the audience to a small island with a secret. As the new lighthouse keeper, Thomas Wake, and his wickie, Ephraim Winslow, trouble sets in as it becomes evident to the audience that both of them are going to be alone on that island for the next four months.

During their stay on that island, Wake acts dominant and harsh towards Winslow, restricting him from going inside the lighthouse. He makes him do difficult jobs, which include collecting heavy loads of coal to run the powerhouse below the lighthouse, cleaning the water pipes, and even makes him whitewash the lighthouse. After a series of mysterious events, Winslow becomes obsessed with knowing the secrets of the lighthouse. Even though Wake repeatedly prohibits his entry into the lighthouse, Winslow’s desire increases.

Winslow soon realizes that the mysteries of the lighthouse are more sinister than he thought, and that Wake may not be the person he thinks he is. The film continues to speak on how isolation and paranoia are managed, while resources and hope are running out. 

The Lighthouse is a psychological thriller packed with fantasy, mystery, and suspense. The entire film is portrayed through a black and white frame. This great challenge taken by the director, in an era of an audience prone to 4k HD, pays off in the thrilling imagery of The Lighthouse. The sounds throughout the film are appreciable for their alarming and disturbing presence, which makes the audience interested throughout the film.

For any Classics enthusiasts, the film also parallelly speaks about the Greek myths of Prometheus. Even though the film does not follow the whole structure of the Promethean story, careful analysis of the light in the lighthouse as the fire that is safeguarded by Zeus shows many similarities between the two. 

The main leading actors of the movie are William Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, and I must say their performance is phenomenal, having shown their career-best performances in this movie. In total, the film is both auditorily and visually appealing with a classic touch. If you are of the faint-hearted, mind that the disturbing sounds and visuals will certainly keep you awake at night. In total, I loved this movie and its portrayal of a suspenseful narrative.