Movie Review - The Light between Oceans

Attributes: Movie Reviews

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Jack Thompson, Bryan Brown.
Director: Derek Cianfrance

It’s an oddly old-fashioned plot revolving around the age-old quest of love and its limits. The movie attempts to throw light on intriguing philosophical questions of right and wrong when in love and is all about guilt, desperation, forgiveness and redemption.

The Light between Oceans introduces us to a reserved World War I trench battle veteran, Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender), who opts to take a job as a lighthouse keeper on a remote island of Australia. During his brief visits to the mainland, he meets and falls in love with a local woman, Isabel (Alicia Vikander), who after the exchange of a few letters agrees to be his wife.

Their lives on the island is portrayed to be a happy one, secluded from the rest of humanity, weaving their own tales and memories and yearning to start a family. Isabel gets pregnant twice and tragically loses her baby on both occasions, profusely embarrassed, she refuses any medical help. As though the light god heard their screeching prayers for a baby, this on morning, Tom and Isabel find a stranded boat with a baby and a dead man. Tom being prim and severe in his manners, and having seen profound loss and death, immediately opts to report it to the authorities. But upon Isabel’s requests of letting her keep the baby, as if this were God’s answer, he finally gives in to his wife’s love and despair.

Years later, Tom discovers that the presumably dead baby’s biological mother (Rachel Weisz), lives on the mainland and is devastated and miserable by the loss of her husband and child. Guilt captivates Tom and he makes far more worse decisions (or right?) to write notes to Hannah (the Mother) reassuring her about her family.

At this point the film’s rather quiet yet powerful romanticism is pushed aside by a series of brutal accusations and further bad decision-making. Melodrama grips every scene of the movie. The actors have committed to their roles impeccably and have beautiful command of their characters on screen. It’s truly a treat to watch Fassbender and Vikander’s chemistry, and Weisz’s graceful yet grief-stricken face throughout. But the events following in the latter half are unbearably long and unnecessarily dull, leaving one extremely disappointed with Cianfrance.

There is one extremely beautiful dialogue (life lesson) the film imparts - 'You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day.' This is told by Hannah’s dead German husband, and upon realisation she decides to forgive Tom and Isabel, by the climax of the movie, infant Lucy, stays with her biological mother Hannah, and Tom and Isabel await her for years. When Lucy does meet Tom, she is greeted with Isabel’s letter and she leaves sharing her gratitude with Tom.

If you’re a weeper at romantic flicks this should be your weekend to-go movie. It’s a parental love-triangle with beautiful seascapes, great chemistry between actors and a climax of serious turns and twists. The film earns its darkness and light, affection and distaste.
We ‘d rate is 3.5 shors! Enjoy!

Tags: Movie Review - The Light between Oceans, The Light between Oceans, English Movie Review, Hollywood Movie Review

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