I Saw The Lighthouse Again and I Loved It Even More.
Today’s blog is just going to be me gushing about the movie The Lighthouse. I’m going to remain as spoiler-free as I can manage, because I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone who wants to see it and hasn’t had the opportunity. But this film comes highly recommended from me, because I just finished seeing it for a second time and I loved it even more.
Imagery in movies affects me greatly. Working in comics for over seventeen years(!) has made me appreciate a well-crafted panel in our medium, which has translated into an appreciation for well-composed shots in movies. The cinematography in The Lighthouse is stunning, and the sharp black-and-white speaks to my soul. There’s enough symbolism to flood your senses, too. It makes for a visual feast that I happily gorge myself on.
The sound design in this film gave me chills. The music in The Lighthouse tells you exactly how you’re supposed to feel in its opening moments. Simple and ominous at first, and rising to nerve-wracking crescendos at moments of high tension. There are two moments in particular where the sound choices were otherworldly and awesome. And the incessant foghorn is a character almost by itself.
Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson were incredible. Dafoe delivers lengthy monologues and tirades with such passion that you’re hooked for the duration of his ranting. Pattinson’s performance deserves more than one viewing, because it’s even better the second time. Watching him restrain explosive emotions is like an appetizer to the main course of those emotions finally erupting. Where Dafoe’s eyes betray his character’s mischief, Pattinson’s sunken gaze tells the story of a haunted man before he ever utters a word.
The Lighthouse is like an album I have to listen to a few times. Typical albums with catchy songs are finger-snapping and satisfying, but they’re not memorable. You listen, you enjoy, but then you move on to the next album. Other albums are complicated and layered, or have unconventional elements that challenge your ear because the structure varies from the usual formula you’re accustomed to. The Lighthouse is one of the latter, as a movie. Watching it a second time is an almost entirely different experience, but no less thrilling than the first.
I love this movie. I love it more than I thought I would. Catch it in the theater if you can. And try to figure it out for yourself.