Editor of the Brisbanista website
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Movie based on the bestselling Australian novel
The Light Between Oceans is a romantic period drama based on the 2012 bestselling book by London-based Australian author, M. L. Stedman. This film is going to tug at your emotions and there were plenty of people having a good old cry in the crowded movie theatre.
The film explores the life of a childless couple living on an isolated lighthouse off the coast of Western Australia. Tom, the lighthouse keeper, is played by Michael Fassbender, who falls in love with Isabel (Alicia Vikander) – in the movie and in real life. After several miscarriages, they face a difficult decision when they discover a baby with her dead father in a rowboat washed up on the beach.
The film faithfully portrays the Australian way of life after the first world war. There was something heart-warming about hearing Waltz Sing Matilda played at a wedding. If you appreciate handmade objects, the clothes, linens and wooden furniture in the set design are exquisite. There are a handful of well-known home grown actors in support roles.
I was disappointed to learn the film was actually shot in the Marlorough and Otago regions of New Zealand and Tasmania. The reason behind this decision was finding a suitable lighthouse for portraying Janus Rock in the book. They ended up filming the Cape Campbell Lighthouse, on the north-eastern tip of New Zealand's South Island.
The film poses some interesting questions regarding parental love, resentment, revenge, forgiveness and survivor guilt. The language is sometimes poetic and full of beautiful life philosophy.
"You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things." By M.L. Stedman, The Light Between Oceans
The Light Between Oceans is a first-class tearjerker as you find yourself sympathising with the characters and wondering what you would have done in the same situation.