This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The_Fezig’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Alright. First thing, this is a weird movie. I kinda figured it would be based on my knowledge of Eggers, but it was still really weird. The pacing was interesting as it started as a slow burn and had flurries of activity in bursts, but not often sustained.
This movie asked a ton out of Pattinson and Dafoe, and they both delivered. Dafoe's over the top sailor stereotype along with some serious face acting, and Pattinson playing the descent into madness very well. The acting I think is the undebatable strength of the movie. I think it's also objectively a very well shot movie. There are some cool scenes, and some interesting use of spaces like the drunken conversations that the keepers have at night. The score is also very well done, adding to the tension and drama in the parts where it is used and being completely dropped in other parts to allow a sense of uneasy normalcy to appear after a storm of mad behavior. It is the story that just isn't going to work for some people. I found it interesting how you weren't sure if Dafoe was gaslighting Pattinson at times or if it was all part of Pattinson's madness. The careful peeling back of his character was appreciated, and the tie in with the previous keeper via the siren talk worked. In the end it all felt a bit pretentious and pointless.
This was a strange and interesting watch. I am not sure it really benefited from a theater setting and I don't think I would watch it again, but I will be looking back at these two leads when I am thinking about awards season.