alex todd 🧟♂️’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Lighthouse is an absolutely insane film. The gritty yet impeccable, black and white cinematography paired with the tight aspect ratio create a claustrophobic feeling that few films have been able to produce. This is definitely a slow but patient build, however this is far from a negative. The characters descent into complete madness takes its time, leaving you with an always ascending feeling of unease. Adding to the unease is the frequent surreal imagery displayed from Robert Pattinson's character's perspective.
Speaking of Robert Pattinson, the acting in this film is on another level of remarkable. Can I get a snubbed in the chat for both actors. Willem Dafoe delivers an unrecognisable performance as the ruthless lighthouse keeper. It's a struggle to understand what he's saying but his stern approach with his few moments of weakness leave an enormous impression. Equally as strong is Robert Pattinson's performance. He begins quietly, working hard, not asking questions and playing by the rules but as time passes he begins arguing back, heavily drinking and bonding with his only acquaintance. The role had many many layers that are unfolded marvellously by the twilight actor.
Aspects like the sound also deserve extreme praise. The building intensity is in fact probably predominantly due to this aspect. Although the score is impressive, it's the multiple noises of things like: the sea, wildlife and the lighthouse itself. It's rare for me to close in on the sound of a film so I hope that says a lot.
A24 are known for releasing films that are inaccessible to say the least and this is no exception (my mum hated it.) Despite that this is an amazing film that some would go as far to say is a masterpiece. One of the best of the year by far.