Yarrrr. This is the one directed by Robert Eggers (of The VVitch fame) where an old and a young man go to a remote island to man the lighthouse there. The old man is the boss, a salty sea dog who has been a wicky for many years now, while the young man is new to the lighthouse-keeping game. Things get a bit spooky and/or they go mad (one possible interpretation is that the fate they suffer is their punishment for committing the sin of Onan). But before that we learn that the young keeper (Robert Pattinson) is a but edgy and reserved while the older one (Willem Dafoe) is a salty sea dog. In my mind I twin Robert Eggers with Ari Aster, so it is not too surprising that he has also followed up his spooky opener with something that is also creepy but which also brings the roffles. In this case the chortles come from the Willem Dafoe character, who is such a salty sea dog from central casting that you expect him to start reproducing lines from the Cap’n in The Simpsons. He is so entertaining that arguably someone should be making a spin-off TV series about his adventures. I think my favourite moment in the film is when they are isolated on the rock and he gets the young lad to help him dig up “emergency rations”, which turn out to be a crate full of booze.
As you can imagine, in a film where two blokes are stuck together on an isolated windswept rock, there is a degree of interpersonal tension between the two keepers. One thing I am curious about regarding other readers who have seen the film – where did your sympathies lie between the two characters? I mean before the big reveal that [REDACTED], obviously. To my mind, the old keeper was a bit troubling and overfamiliar in some regards, but the young lad’s continuous bucking against him irked me – youngsters and subordinates should know their place (I may have spent too long working in hierarchical organisations). Also, the young lad picks a fight with a seagull and, aside from it being bad luck to kill a sea bird (as the salty sea dog warns), it suggests a certain dickish lack of perspective. Subsequently I felt that it served him right when he learned the hard way that you don’t throw a bucket of shite into the wind.
image source (Guardian: “The Lighthouse review – Robert Pattinson shines in sublime maritime nightmare”)