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Movie Review: The Light Between Oceans. Bring A Box Of Box Of Kleenex With You

Tugs at your heartstrings

RAMA delivers another great review.

You better take a box of kleenex with you to the screening of  The Light Between Oceans because you’re going to need it, trust me. Heartbreaking pretty much encapsulates the entirety of this film which from the start aims to drive its point home on an emotional level.

Based on M.L. Stedman’s best-selling novel, starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Bryan Brown, and Jack Thompson, adapted and directed by Derek Cianfrance, THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS is essentially about a lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia and they raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat. But years later, the lighthouse keeper and his wife encounter the real mother of that baby. Should they go on with their lie and keep their child or do they tell the truth and risk losing her forever?

I’ve never been a parent, so I don’t know what it feels like, because I can only imagine that the fear or anxiety of the possibility of losing your child through any circumstance crosses the minds of every parent who wouldn’t want such misfortune befalls them. In this case, it cuts even deeper because it’s about miscarriage, to have that happen to a woman whose dream is to become a mother, it’s the worst nightmare for her. In THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, I think Alicia Vikander plays that with such strong conviction and ferocity, so much so that even though you know her character is doing something wrong, a part of you wants her to get away with this act, because Vikander has made you feel sorrowful for what her character has gone through. It’s a remarkable performance by the woman who won Oscar for last year’s “The Danish Girl,” you see THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS and you’ll immediately understand exactly why Vikander deserves that statuette. And Michael Fassbender plays the lighthouse keeper husband with a conscience, the film does deal with fate, love, moral dilemmas, and how far you’re willing to go to get your dreams realized after having previously seen them crushed a few times, what secrets would you keep to make those dreams realized and so Fassbender’s moral compass keeps bugging him. Fassbender is so gentle and sturdy and calmed in this film.

If you’ve seen director Derek Cianfrance’s previous films, “Blue Valentine” and “The Place Beyond The Pines,” you’d know that Cianfrance is not one to shy away from couples’ confrontations, it’s as if he wants his actors to really unleash their strongest resentment possible, so when conflict arises between Vikander’s character and Fassbender’s character or between Vikander and Rachel Weisz’s character, it’s so real and ugly that you wouldn’t want to get in the middle of it otherwise they might come at you as well. The cinematography for this film is exquisite, such a beautifully designed, beautifully shot film, not to mention composer Alexandre Desplat’s music, his emphasis on piano, that makes the emotional journey of these characters all the more deeply affecting. THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS guarantees to tug at the heartstrings.

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