The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse ★★★★★

Since seeing it in theaters in October of 2019, I have wrestled mightily with The Lighthouse. Don't be fooled, the five star rating should confer that it hasn't been a bout over whether it's good or bad, but instead a concerted effort to break the work down to understand how great it is in addition to how beautiful and enthralling it is. Just like The Witch the compositions and Blaschke's shooting are divine, taken to an even higher plane arguably by the cramped aspect ratio and the film's overall reliance on visual information and dank, dread atmosphere.

The script is another winner for Robert Eggers, co-written with his brother Max. The basis in history aligns with The Witch, but here the dialogue and sources get quite a bit stranger. Here, the language and its delicious delivery by both Dafoe and Pattinson drip with artifice, emphasizing their unreliability and the trenchant themes of workplace strife and obedience to standards. But even that's just skimming the surface of this film, which remains doggedly open to interpretation even after multiple screenings. Most impressive in the writing for me is that it translates writers like Melville and Hesiod into something new and singluar. While working with storied texts, it creates an intoxicating new brew that I'll be enjoying for years and decades to come.

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