The Light Between Oceans


Release Date: January 24, 2017
Directed by: Derek Cianfrance
Written by: Derek Cianfrance (Screenplay), M.L. Stedmen (Novel)
Production Co: Heyday Films, LBO Productions (II), Dreamworks SKG
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material and some sexual content
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz

Where to begin…
I didn’t know that the film was based on a novel. The consensus I received was mediocre.
The film (and the novel, I imagine) was set in the early 1900s. About 1918 (and some change), more post WWI, if that gives you an idea.
Tom (a WWI veteran) travels to Janus, an island near Stanley, Australia, to become the lighthouse keeper (temporarily). You can see that Tom is internally tormented with himself from the war. While the locals serve him up some delicious dinner party fun, he meets Isabel. She is also tormented by the loss of her brothers in the war. Match made in heaven, right?

Well, the correspond with one another after Tom goes to Janus to assume his duties as the lighthouse keeper. Eventually, nuptials happen (HOW?). After they are married and return to Janus, Tom and Isabel life a life of solitude. So, what happens when you live a life a solitude (and still getting to know your spouse?)? Several attempts, and 2 miscarriages later, a gift washes upon the shore of Janus.

Isabel, lonely and saddened by her recent loss, convinces Tom to go against the rules. Who is going to know, right?
Four years later, their world is turned upside down. Tom, after seeing Hannah at the cemetery (and learning about her story: husband and baby were lost at sea), he clearly put it together that their Lucy was actually Grace. Because Tom could not live with the torment of lies, he left Hannah assurance of her daughter’s well being.

At the 20th anniversary of the Lighthouse, everything starts toward a downward spiral.
Let’s just say, from a mother’s prospective, it could have been handled differently, but again think of the time frame. So, Tom is jailed and Isabel turns her back on him. That is common today, but then? Can you imagine?

My thoughts:
I don’t think this was a love story. At least not between Tom and Isabel. It was more the love of a mother and what she would do for her child. Second, the love between someone who is not the child’s mother and the child is prevalent. I feel that Tom loved Isabel a lot more than Isabel did him. Her love for him grew, later, but not initially. I also feel that Isabel’s love for Lucy stemmed from the loss of hers. I have never lost a child, but I do love 4 wonderful children (one who is mine biologically).

So, when you go watch this movie, whether you see it in the theater or on iTunes or Netflix in a few months, go in with a clear mind. Understand from all points of view: Tom went from Torment to protector, Isabel went for tormented to devout mother, Hannah went from lost to found.

The HOPE is there for all of them.