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After setting the cinematic world on fire with a 17th Century prestige horror film, spoken in mostly period language mind you, The Witch filmmaker Robert Eggers had no intention of taking it easy the second time around. For his sophomore effort, The Lighthouse, the American filmmaker has crafted a 19th Century drama shot in black and white and presented in a 1.19:1 aspect ratio, effectively a square. And his tale centers on just two men assigned to watch over a lighthouse on an island far off the New England coast. The 35-year-old filmmaker must realize that challenges often bring out the best in us.
The set up itself is somewhat simple. Ephram (Robert Pattinson) and Thomas (Willem Dafoe) arrive at their outpost for what should be a four-week work assignment. Thomas is a longtime veteran and, on this gig, Ephram’s superior. This the first lighthouse duty for Ephram and he soon discovers that Thomas is going to ride roughshod over him. Ephram is assigned menial tasks such as refilling the coal fire going for the near constant fog horn, delivering the oil up the long set of stairs for the tower lamp and overall maintenance of the island. Ephram finds himself replacing roof singles, painting the tower and scrubbing the floors, but it never seems up to Thomas’ standards. If that wasn’t frustrating enough for the younger keeper, he’s also strictly forbidden by Thomas to man the lighthouse itself even though company protocol instructs them to alternate watch duties.
Ephram - Housemate - Hygiene - Thomas - Responsibility
Ephram also finds himself immediately disgusted by his new housemate’s personal hygiene. Thomas farts incessantly and toils him with the responsibility of removing his disgusting bedpan. And it turns out the elder watchman’s cooking isn’t that good either. And yet, Thomas just hopes to grin and bear it as the two men are...
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