The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse ★★

Hot take time. The Lighthouse, in which Willem Defoe and Robert Pattinson mooch around a lighthouse competing to see who can be the dourest cunt. The only time either man cracks a smile is when they're both blind drunk (which is a lot). I'm not sure what accents they're supposed to be doing, but honestly, I could have used subtitles. Pattinson's seems to be some kind of Canadian hybrid but he spends so much of his time mumbling into his beard that I pulled an ear muscle straining to make out what he was actually saying. Ye olde time dialogue doesn't help, mark ye.

It's been described as a hallucinatory experience but incursions into surrealism are minimal, hung around some half-baked mythology that brings into question whether there's more to both seagull-beating hipster Winslow and old fartypants Wake than meets the eye. It's a visually striking film, shot in black and white, creating a bleak mood with the crashing waves and perpetually stormy skies of the New England coastline combined with the claustrophobic interior spaces of the lighthouse - but it's not a mood I was receptive to. A two-hander where both hands are unlikable bastards for the duration is a hard sell in my eyes. Just couldn't get into it and given the massive amount of hype surrounding its release (it's an A24 product; hype, inevitably, follows), I'd have to say this was my biggest disappointment of the festival so far. Still, if you're someone who worships at the altar of A24, you'll probably lap up The Lighthouse's dismal siren song as well.

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