Robert Eggers’ highly anticipated follow up to The Witch, is an exploration into madness unlike anything you have seen before. Shot on 35mm black-and-white film, The Lighthouse follows two lighthouse keepers, Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe) and Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson), during their four-week contract. A seasoned veteran, Wake assigns Winslow all the physical labour while he keeps the operating of the beacon tightly in his grasp alone. Growing weary of Wake’s nightly drunken tales and the daily menial tasks, Winslow begins to become paranoid that there may be more to the beacon than Wake is letting on.
Steeped in rich atmosphere – one where foggy landscapes, pushy seagulls, and horns from far away ships created a sinister feel – Eggers’ film throws one into the insanity quickly. His striking and unsettling visuals, eerie sound design, and wonderfully dark humour create an experience that is unforgettable. One does not simply watch the vivid hallucinating descent into madness, one feels engulfed by it.
While Eggers’ distinct vision is astonishing, the film thrives thanks to the fearless work by Dafoe and Pattinson. Whether giving a monologue while being hit by dirt or slowly changing the audience’s perspective of which character is the “sane” one, Dafoe and Patterson deliver two of the year’s best performances. Stunning and wildly original, The Lighthouse is one of the year’s best films.
Saturday, September 7, Ryerson Theatre, 9:00 PM
Sunday, September 8, Scotiabank, 7:45 PM