The Light Between Oceans left me speechless. I hadn’t broken down to a good drama in days. The Light Between Oceans had me in tears and excruciating chokes. The movie saunters on the theme of love, culpability, repentance, sacrifice and forgiveness, and it aces all of it owing to its ravishing direction and extraordinary performances. And that is just the plot of it. The flick’s stunning cinematography and Alexandre Desplat’s heart-melting music are constantly yet peacefully uplifting its standards of beauty, playing second fiddle.
DIRECTION OF THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS
Derek Cianfrance has become one of my favourite directors. His 2010 movie Blue Valentine had me instantly arrested. Not for the fact that it capered around the concept of love, rather how he was bold enough to show both sides of the coin, that too in a rare engrossing rhythm. Also, he gave us ample time to reflect. When we consider the latter aspect, The Light Between Oceans stays no different.
Cianfrance focuses on the most phenomenal aspects whilst directing. You can feel the warmth in his frames as he successfully depicts love, zooms in on minuscule ingredient of despair, repentance by focusing in on faces of the protagonists to read their thoughts and gravity via the arduous vibes in the air. He allows characters to speak their feelings out with their acting alone and doesn’t resort to theatrics. It retains the patience of time in it, which compels you to read them carefully.
THE PERFECT CAST
To say that the cast was good would be an understatement. They were outrageously fantastic! There is nothing Michael Fassbender can’t do. A war veteran who has returned from death seeks solitude to reflect on what remains of him. His Tom Sherbourne has a musing countenance, a man of few words, and he brims it up with credence. With the arrival of Isabel Graysmark played convincingly well by Alicia Vikander, life finds a new meaning for him. Together they make love very touching. Also, their chemistry has a rare blend of the extraordinaire. I can’t even begin to marvel at their acting prowess. Their faces feel like they are literally living the story. I mean just look at the movie’s poster; it talks!
Florence Clery was a perfect fit for Lucy-Grace. If she wouldn’t have been that adorable, then the audience would have failed to see what the fight was for. She is downright enchanting!
In those solitary runs to the Lighthouse, the terrific composer Alexandre Desplat underlines and hands us over a perfect backdrop imploring our reflective moods. That’s one rare corner I find myself going lucky inadvertently. I have had the good hap of watching plenty of movies with Desplat in the background, and he never fails to create a magical whirlwind of toneful melody. If you close your eyes, you will feel it literally begging for ovation.
Just when you thought, “Can it go any better than that?” Well, there arrives its magnificent plot.
PLOT OF THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS (SPOILERS)
Amidst the harmonious notes, and alluring images of the sea, that calls for enough love, comes a situational conundrum that hangs on its thin wire of decisions. Isabel makes the wrong one, forcing a whirlpool of guilt to swallow Tom up.
A baby arrives in a dinghy which the unfortunate arid Isabel is keen on keeping. She goes so blind in love, she overlooks the fact that a dead man arrived in it too. She coaxes Tom into keeping it and burying the man without informing anybody about it. Along with the cadaver of the man they bury their secret too and the world doesn’t know. Nobody knows that underneath the blinding light of the beacon slept a corrigible mistake patiently waiting for their guilt to nibble them up.
Then one day, it happens. He finds Hannah the original mother grieving for her child and husband. The constant gut-wrenching wrongdoing eats him alive.
You could see in those rare frames of Cianfrance, tears of Michael Fassbender lingering in his unsure eyes. What follows, reeks of unrivalled gravitas that will definitely rip you apart. I was shattered beyond limit; Cianfrance made sure of that.
You can purchase the movie DVD from Amazon here:
There are so many good things that I take away from The Light Between Oceans. Its powerful screenplay makes me want to revisit it to concentrate enough to remember – Exact words that were spoken. Exact amount of tears that were spent when the poor little child, who had no clue why was she being taken away from her mother cries for her mom. Hannah’s endless scrimmage to get back Lucy even when she did.
The fierce abomination that lurked in Isabel’s eyes for Tom, who became a murderer of dreams almost instantly. The zen in her orbs to see Lucy again. Tom’s selfless colossal sacrifice. When Isabel finally reads that letter that changes her heart.
Then when finally Lucy-Grace returns in the epilogue to meet a shriveled Tom. When she understands, comprehends every bit, and thanks him for taking care of her. When she reads Isabel’s letter. And then when she eventually hugs her. That look of contentment in his eyes, that little smile that had somehow gone lost in time returns.
I cannot thank M. L. Stedman enough to have thought something so unusual and exhilarating. Bravo!
Those who wish to read the book, which I am told is even better, can get it from here on Amazon:
Check out the trailer of The Light Between Oceans here: