Movie Review: THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS
Star rating (out of 5): **
Set in Australia, this period romance-drama tells the story of a couple who struggle to raise a baby they rescued. But after leaving their small island for society, a broken woman threatens to end their family. Adapted from the novel by M.L. Stedman, director Derek Cianfrance brings us a devastating drama, starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz.
The visuals in this film are pretty solid. The intimate close-ups bring emotional weight to each shot, combined with the clever camera angles and dramatic performances. Michael Fassbender delivers a good performance as Tom Sherborne, the soft-spoken husband of Isabel. Vikander’s portayal of her joyous personality brings life into their relationship. Their chemistry is great even off the screen, as I’m sure you’ve heard by now. Don’t they say polar opposites always attract? The soundtrack is a pleasure to listen too, though the style is a little repetitive. There are some fascinating themes and ideas in The Light Between Oceans, such as greed and the importance of family. They help to elaborate more on the performances of Fassbender and Vikander individually.
This movie is way… too… long! It felt like I was seeing three movies being mashed into one, without any minute being cut out. The thick plot badly affects the pacing, which badly affects the editing. In that aspect, the movie is considerably jarring. Derek Cianfrance puts way too much on his plate to be able story-wise to craft a steady film. All of this hurts Rachel Weisz’ performance. Her character arc is shoehorned into the already bloated story. The dialogue is painfully corny. I was cringing a lot in the theater. Funnily enough, I realized I was the only teenager in there! Everybody else had to be much older (no offense). But then again, they were all asleep anyhow.
THE BEST SCENE:
I can’t really find an individual scene, so I’ll say most of the scenes on the island. The film beautifully captured the atmosphere.
THE WORST SCENE:
The tedious ending scene represents everything that’s bad about this film.
The Light Between Oceans is a well-shot drama with strong performances from the two leads. It’s a shame that the story Nicholas Spark-ifies an interesting concept.
REVIEW BY SAM SILBER