The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse ★★★★½

two men, a lighthouse and a remote island in the late 19th century. robert eggers' sophomore black and white film aims higher than its directorial debut and swims deep into ambiguity and mythology in a psychological lovecraftian horror. set in a claustrophobic setting, the main attraction of the island now habitated by two lighthouse keepers is a lighthouse, a big structure with a beacon on top it oftenly associated with guidance, sanctuary and hope. nonetheless, this one sheds an ominous light straight to the darkness of death, delirium and the unknown, containing unanswered questions, buried secrets, and an abundance of lies within it — but at the same time it's something to be frightened of, it's also the beauty of it all. it shines so bright you wouldn't bare to look away, but the deeper you look, the more it gets hold of you.

all around the island, there's nothing but the sound of waves crashing on rocks, seagulls annoyingly screaming and no one to rescue the lighthouse keepers from themselves and each other. if anything, both of eggers' works accompanies tragedy and desolation, and it somehow feels wrong to witness the horrors of both unraveling right before our eyes. taking the shape of a slow-burn, the lighthouse gently shows its true face as weeks go by and there's nothing its characters can do but surrender to an inevitable hysteria. at one point you just end up losing your mind, not knowing what's real and what isn't. its 110 minutes hands over a maddening dive into homoeroticism, surrealism, vulnerability, isolation, repression, masculinity and violence, and it's uncomfortable, bizarre, unsettling and not an easy watch. some are going to love it and some are going to hate it, but either way, i'm sure people won't stop talking about it.

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