The Light Between OceansVenice Film Festival 2016
Based on the novel of the same name by M L Stedman, The Light Between Oceans is one of this year’s most eagerly awaited movies. Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander co-star in this heartbreaking drama set in Western Australia as a couple who has to deal with personal turmoil after experiencing two consecutive miscarriages.
Technically, the film borders on perfection. There’s no more appropriate composer than Alexandre Desplat to score such an emotional story. The cinematography relies on a cold, matte palette; this intentionally limited spectrum of colours superbly reflects the day and age of the narration. However, the finish is too sugar-coated to feel authentic.
Tom (Fassbender) works as a lighthouse keeper on the uninhabited Janus Rock island. One day, as he and Isabel (Vikander) seem to be incapable of dealing with the abortion despair, a rowboat wrecks on the shores of Janus, with a dead man holding a young baby on it. Torn between doing the right thing and doing what would heal his wife’s pain, Tom decides to treat the baby as their own, without declaring the accident.
Although strong, the performances struggle at times to bear the depth of the silences and scarce dialogue with consistent credibility. Love, isolation, motherhood and amorality are the themes driving this picture. It’s easy to anticipate where the story goes, every time; there’s no unexpected turn of events as every twist is plainly announced. However, the exploration of morality subconsciously makes its way into the audience’s head.
The Light Between Oceans is a film that tries too hard to be good; it’s solid but it lacks a genuine touch. Likewise, Fassbender and Vikander seem too self-absorbed in an attempt to deliver performances worthy of an oscar – but it’s Rachel Weisz, who isn’t aspiring to any accolades, that delivers the most heartbreaking line.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
The Light Between Oceans is released nationwide on 4th November 2016.
Watch the trailer for The Light Between Oceans here: