Upcoming director Robert Eggers’s second full-scale film, “The Lighthouse”, can be described by paraphrasing words that art critic and poet Jean Morer used to describe the symbolist arts movement: “In this art, nature scenes, human activities and other real-world phenomena will not be depicted as for themselves; here they are designed to represent their esoteric relationship with primordial ideals.” In particular, the spectator in this film band should rather be perceived through the prism of symbols and metaphors offered by the storytellers.
The film will take place at the end of the 19th century in the North East of the United States, New England. The main roles show Wilms Defoe (as the lighthouse’s supervisor, Thomas Veiks), Robert Patinson (supervisor’s assistant, Efraim Winslow). The description of the film might also end since it is mostly subject to the interpretation of the viewer itself. This is a movie job that is certainly easier to see than to describe. However, this article is designed to make some sense of the adventure provided by the film, possibly extending its catharsis and saying good-bye to thoughts that have not been reassuring since the first time the film was viewed. What did the real authors of the story want to offer us, creating this surreal, black-and-white, 35 mm film-made movie art – fantasy or paranoia?
Must have agreed with Eggers Jobs adherent and the position brother, director Ari Aster, saying that the film does not represent the genre of horror cinema, more reminiscent of existential comedy. It is not possible to clearly describe what the two hours on the screen mean. Therefore, after my reflection, I tend to favour the idea that everything in the film is going on in Efraim’s mind, more specifically in his subconscious mind. Thomas and Efraim can be described as two manifestations of one person and the whole of the film as an internal struggle, a dynamic of power between them. After all, as the viewer finds out as the film approaches its conclusion – Efraim’s real name is Thomas, it is a word he has kept secret and is the same as the name of the older lighthouse supervisor. Given the general mood of the story, full of references to Greek and Roman mythology (namely Neptune and Prometheus; the struggle of men in both lighthouses often seems to be the squabbling of two gods, which, as known from Greek/Roman mythology stories, does not seem to be much behind the daily concerns of people, and often even seems to be the case. comic) and the movement of symbolist art (giving deeper, metaphorical meaning to different images such as – mermaid, seagulls, light), the revelation of the real name of this story’s protagonist, which suggests human identity, is not random or meaningless.
Not least, it seems that when he talks about the lights of the lighthouse, Thomas uses the alternate name of the female family, “she”. In the context of this story, it is more likely that it could symbolize the presence of a female and male in every human being than a man’s desire for a female as a stranger, given that “she” (light) is part of a hallowed lighthouse that is at the center of the story, quite like an image of a distant film. Perhaps even to claim that the film’s psychologically powerful images are a lighthouse (it’s light), a mermaid and the sea itself. The surging ocean waters are perceived as a subconscious symbol. Consequently, the island on which the light-bearing lighthouse is located can be seen as an “id” for which human “egos” go. Efraim’s drinking also seems almost like ritualistic immersion in the darker waters of his mind.
The closing of the film, or the moment of enlightenment, is indescribable in words (indirect terms). It appears that film-makers communicate with the viewer at the highest level, trying to convey ideas and ideas that overcome language constraints. Meeting the light is a breaking point for the existence of Efraima (or Thomas), which is reflected simply as a metaphysical encounter with the absolute truth and requires the victim, namely, a confrontation with his soul, and, more clearly, death. In a very direct sense, the bright light that concludes this story is like the condition of the Bardo in several religions: seeing and sensing an ecstatic bright light right at the time of death/after death/in its agony.
It seems unnecessary to say that a particularly pleasing eye is the visual design of the film, which, in its simplicity and every frame-selected camera location, is capable of transmitting the storm of emotion experienced by the actors to the viewer. Director Robert Eggers has previously acted as creative director of New York theatres, a scenographer, a producer, and this experience is also evident in his film works. Looking forward to the director’s next long work, which might seem closer to us as the northerners, “The Northman”, which will be the 10th-century Icelandic Vikings’ vengeance saga, where we will see Anya Taylor-Joy is one of the leading roles.