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|Originaltitel:||The Light Between Oceans|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 130 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Western Australia at the Beginning of the 1920s: To escape the traumatic experiences of the First World War, Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) takes up the position of lighthouse keeper on a remote island. Actually the employment on the deserted island should last only three months. But when he is offered a permanent position and finds his great love in the young, cheerful Isabel (Alicia Vikander), Tom decides to accept the offer and take Isabel with him to the island as his wife. Together they seem to have found great happiness until Isabel suffers two miscarriages. The mourning threatens to break the love of both. But then everything changes when one day a boat is washed up on the island. Inside are the body of a young man and a baby that miraculously survived. Despite Tom's doubts, the couple decides to keep the child and pose as their own - not knowing what terrible consequences this decision will still have…
Director Derek Cianfrance is not necessarily known for easy feel-good cinema. "Blue Valentine" or "The Place Beyond The Pines" were anything but light food. And so no shallow heartache romance should be expected from "The Light Between Oceans", the film adaptation of the bestseller "The Light Between the Seas" by M.L. Stedman. Rather, Cianfrance has staged a drama immersed in hypnotically beautiful pictures that takes its audience on an emotional roller coaster. His usual slow, unagitated narrative style is quite a challenge. Those who cannot get involved will have to endure 130 very long minutes here. However, those who manage to let themselves be carried along by the quiet narrative flow are offered a very moving story, which not only catapults their protagonists into many a moral dilemma.
Decidedly, you also feel torn back and forth as a viewer. You wish Tom and Isabel so much that they can be happy. You can feel the love they have for the little girl, who they raise as if she were really their daughter. And one is actually convinced that everything is exactly as it should be - until one is confronted with the fact that there is still the real mother who is literally eaten away by grief. Of course, one wishes that mother and daughter would be brought together again, only to wonder whether this is really the best thing for the girl. It is a situation in which there can only be losers, no matter if the secret of Tom and Isabel is kept or not. And it is precisely from this dilemma that the film draws its enormous emotional power.
This is further intensified by the very good play of the three main actors. Oscar winner Alicia Vikander stands out in particular. The transformation from a cheerful girl, who with her happy sparkling eyes and a disarming smile brings a completely withdrawn person like Tom back to life, to a woman broken by shame, fear and grief, who then regains her courage through a child for whom she would do anything, is simply brilliantly played. But also Michael Fassbender and Rachel Weisz manage to bring very human characters onto the screen, with whom you as a viewer feel with every second.
"The Light Between Oceans" is not an easy movie. Over long stretches the story is very sad, so even the beautiful pictures help only marginally. But in the end there is at least a small, conciliatory glimmer of hope that doesn't depress the audience to release them into normal everyday life. However, you have to be aware that you get to see a movie that is told a little bit tenaciously and that doesn't have to be stingy with big emotions. And if you have a problem with that in general, you won't be able to make friends with this drama. But if you love elegantly told emotional cinema and want to see great actors in front of a picturesque backdrop, you shouldn't miss this successful bestseller adaptation. Absolutely worth seeing!
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