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Director/writer Robert Eggers emulates predecessors Orson Wells and William Wyler with his black and white creation, “The Lighthouse”; a tale of two freakish outliers that will fiendishly haunt you long after their filmic exit; Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, lighthouse keepers, “Tom” and  “Ephraim”;  Shakespearean in pathos, hubris and creepy comparisons to “Captain Ahab”; Tom (Dafoe at his pinnacle) is the elder, flatulent, inebriate orator; his tales of aggrandizement, folklore taunt the younger man, Ephraim,  (Pattinson’s secures maturity in this solid, steamy portrayal of a man of many secrets); isolated, off the coast of New England, heckled, mocked by seagulls (never to be killed, they harbor the souls of dead sailors); it is the ferocious, watery, Stygian landscape, and the moody, bleak, sinister soundtrack (Canadian composer Mark Korven) that secure the film’s magnetism. Fed by alcohol’s toxicity, minds and bodies maneuver the circles of hell; hallucinations of mythological tormentors: Poseidon/Neptune, control the sea’s intensity and secures the keepers internment; a mermaid, descendent of Aphrodite and Venus (goddesses of love and beauty), adds salacious ambiguity as reason sinks expeditiously into insanity. It is Prometheus, the legendary Titan, who stole fire from the gods, gifting it to mankind, who hovers surreptitiously at the edges of this parable; he was punished by being “bound” to a rock, while an eagle devours his liver, the process perpetually repeated.

Tom, keeps the “light” sequestered, never allowing Ephraim entrance into its hypnotic, enchanting brilliance; a metaphor for salvation, demolished, under the tutelage of an unforgettable, demonic duo.





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