• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives

  • Awards & Nominations

Non-Review Review: The Light Between Oceans

There are times when The Light Between Oceans almost makes sense.

At certain moments in the film’s two-hour-plus runtime, the clouds part and the sky clears. In these fleeting seconds, it becomes clear what The Light Between Oceans is trying to do and what it wants to be about. A beacon seems to shine through the film, reaching out to the audience and guiding them towards the heart of the film. There are moments when things seem to align and The Light Between Oceans almost gels into the melodramatic morality play to which it aspires, much like the withdrawing might reveal some hidden treasure.

All at sea.

All at sea.

Inevitably, the tide comes rushing back in. The Light Between Oceans becomes cluttered and clumsy. The film aspires to be a profound commentary on grand themes like loss and responsibility, a story about love and forgiveness. However, the narrative is clunky. The film strives for a moral weight that it never quite manages to attain, contorting its narrative and characters in strange directions that serve vague notions while undercutting a sense of coherence.

The Light Between Oceans might consider itself to be the stoic and restrained lighthouse keeper at its core, a character who tries his best to be the moral centre as the sea tosses and the heaven rages around him. Unfortunately, it feels more like the rowing boat discovered towards the end of the first act, one lost and adrift, driven not by purpose but contrivance.

Somewhere... beyond the sea...

Somewhere… beyond the sea…

Continue reading