The Light Between Oceans Review

9 Sep


The Light Between Oceans is a film that reaches for far more emotion than it’s capable of grasping. Melodrama isn’t inherently a bad thing, but too often does this story feel manufactured, especially in a second half bogged down by sweeping life changes and plot developments. As a result, Rachel Weisz’s character arc feels truncated by the shaky narrative, and the film loses quite a bit of the serene beauty that can be occasionally found in the first half (which I actually enjoy more, even though it meanders a lot). I suppose that’s the point in the second half–this wonderful life crumbles down around these two (very pretty) people–but it just doesn’t feel genuine. The masterful Blue Valentine utilized similar techniques to better results, and this has none of the rawness or character complexity of that film.

It deals with some interesting themes, though, and the moral dilemma at the center of the story is made much more compelling due to the star power in the cast. Fassbender and Vikander are up to the task, and the latter in particular seems to have perfected the art of emoting already in her blossoming career. Weisz doesn’t appear for a while, and though her character is weakened by the script, she still does a very nice job with a more restrained performance. Unrestrained would describe Alexandre Desplat’s score, which pushes for your heartstrings even more than Cianfrance does. Adam Arkapaw’s cinematography relies on a few too many closeups, but it’s for the most part gorgeous.

In the end, too bad those two babies die because can you imagine how good-looking a Fassbender-Vikander baby would be? Maybe we’ll see for ourselves in real life.


Photo credit: The Light Between Oceans, Walt Disney Studios



4 Responses to “The Light Between Oceans Review”

  1. Cindy Bruchman September 9, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    Aw, man! I love the cast so much and really had high hopes.

    • polarbears16 September 11, 2016 at 10:19 am #

      Same here! It’s not bad, though, it’s just okay (and definitely not up to par with Cianfrance’s previous work).

  2. Jay September 9, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

    I think we needed to see a little more of her grief and madness you understand her crazy actions.

    • polarbears16 September 11, 2016 at 10:19 am #

      Fair point. It was definitely a bit rushed in certain places and prolonged in unnecessary places.

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