Luminescence. Photons. Sparkle. These are just a few of the words associated with one of this year’s most hyped movies, Robert Pattinson’s Lighthouse. The film, which revolves around a struggling artist (Robin Dunne) who makes a living as a mermaid charmer in Maine, is set to hit theaters on May 12th and has nearly every interested party talking about it. Most notably, the film’s lead, Robert Pattinson, seems to have wowed everyone with his intense performance as Cal MacLeman.

Here’s a roundup of everything you need to know about the movie, including everything from its intriguing plot to its incredible costumes.

Plot Summary

Set in the remote town of Rock Point, Maine, the film revolves around Cal MacLeman (Robert Pattinson), a painter who struggles to keep his studio open while dealing with personal problems caused partly by his drug addiction and partly by the town itself. Cal’s drug addiction has left him jaded, with any sort of interpersonal relationship proving to be difficult, and he has no friends in the area. When we first see him, he is sitting alone in his studio staring blankly at the wall in front of him. The camera lingers on this shot for a bit before slowly panning to the left, where we see a painting of a mermaid hung above his work desk. With nothing better to do, Cal begins to work on this piece, which gradually becomes the focal point of his recovery. This effort culminates in him getting a full-time job as a lighthouse keeper (hinted at in the title), where he can focus on his painting and be away from the distractions of the city. In this way, the movie functions as a metaphor for Cal’s own artistic journey and the effect that removing himself from the distractions of the outside world has had on him as an individual and a professional.

While most of this could be read as self-reflection for the artist, there’s also a clear element of Gothic fiction and horror in the story. The town of Rock Point, where the story takes place, is named after the mythical King Arthur’s crown, the Rock Point Lighthouse. The movie’s climax, in which a giant spider (which turns out to be a person in disguise) threatens to feast on the main character, is meant to evoke the feelings of those watching it who have a fear of spiders. Furthering this connection, the spider is later revealed to be none other than Arthur himself, who is seeking retribution for his nephew’s (played by Thomas Hardyorn) murder of his own wife.

Cast Of Characters

Robert Pattinson stars as the titular character, Cal MacLeman, a man who tries to lead a simple life in a remote part of Maine while also trying to maintain a solo exhibition. He is supported through most of the film by his friend and neighbor, Charlie Bracken (David Warshaw), who handles all of the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping the studio open and the bills paid on time. Aside from this, most of the characters in the film are either animals or fish, and the settings are as far away from the bright lights of the city as you can get. However, despite the remoteness of the location, there is still internet access available, provided by a group of young hackers who live in a nearby cabin and are constantly meddling in Cal’s affairs.

One of the main characters is the town’s infamous fish restauranteur, Vernon Littleton (Stanley Tucci), who believes he’s God’s gift to women and regularly tells women this when he tries to pick them up. It seems like he almost always gets what he wants because most women can’t help but be flattered that a man of such obvious wealth and power would bother to notice them.

Another well-known character in the area is Daniel Ransom (Bill Paxton), a local entrepreneur who owns the gas station and the only other place of significance in the town, the Bay Club. He is extremely wealthy and has everything he wants, except for the one thing he desires more than anything else: to be accepted by the community and to be seen as a contributing member. While we see very little of Daniel in the film, there is one scene in which he unexpectedly shows up at Charlie’s studio, which is a clear indication that he wants to be more involved in Cal’s life. We soon learn that Daniel is the brother of Arthur MacLeman, Cal’s uncle, and he is out for blood, having had a longstanding rivalry with his sibling since they were kids. It is hinted that Daniel may have had an incestuous relationship with his sister, which is why he hates and resents Cal.

What Is Cinematography, Directors And More?!

Cinematography is the art of filming, and in this case it involves the use of both stylized and realistic lighting to create mood and visual interest. The term “cinematography” was first used around 1910 and comes from the combination of the words “camera” and “photography.”

It is quite an incredible feat to have shot the entire film using natural light. Director of Photography and co-writer/co-producer Christopher Maclaurin had this to say about the film’s use of natural light: “I wanted to push the boundaries of what was possible when shooting a film, and I think that’s what makes this film unique. We were constantly changing the composition, moving the sun, using reflection and even looking at the sky through the windows to capture the right moods.”

How Does The Script Do?

As with any good script, the first thing you will notice about Lighthouse‘s script is its structure, which is relatively simple and straightforward. A more complex issue has to do with the pacing, which can be frustratingly slow at times while also feeling a bit disjointed and uneven. There are also some sections of the script that could have used some tightening up. However, these are usually minor issues and do not affect the basic story in any way. The script does a good job of setting up the characters and the circumstances of the story, which makes it relatively easy to follow and a pleasure to watch.

Overall Impressions

It’s quite an accomplishment to take a small, independent town in Maine and turn it into a functioning community just for the purposes of creating atmosphere in a film. The townspeople of Rock Point actually do a wonderful job of adding to the cinematic quality of the film, and it’s quite easy to see why this location was chosen for a desolate, lonesome place populated only by eccentric old men, women, and children. With its strong sense of community, the town seems like a natural fit for a story about a man trying to find his path in life.

The costumes of Lighthouse are quite an ingenious feat for the film’s designer, Sandy Powell. The film’s female lead, Robin Dunne, has this to say about the costumes: “The costumes for the film were incredible. We were so restricted in terms of what we could and could not wear. We could not wear black clothing as it would have been too difficult for the cinematographer to light us properly. So, we were only allowed to wear pale colors because the lighting would have been more prominent against the white clothing.”

This kind of oversight often results in incredibly creative and fresh outfits for the film’s female leads. As Powell is probably best known for her work on the Harry Potter series, it is not a huge surprise that she created such unique and memorable costumes for this story about a man searching for his artistic voice. Her work is always the embodiment of creative genius, resulting in many memorable outfits in the process.

Another incredible part of Lighthouse is the performance of its lead, Robert Pattinson, whose mesmerizing and intense stare has the potential to turn any scene he’s in into pure genius. Even more impressive is the fact that he holds his own with the likes of Stanley Tucci and David Warshaw, who are both extremely experienced and professional performers. Together, they form an amazing onscreen partnership that is both believable and effective.

While most of the focus will be on Lighthouse as a story about an artist trying to find his voice, there is also a clear element of Gothic fiction and horror in the tale, which should not be overlooked. Despite the town’s remoteness, it still has internet access, which is an important element in keeping the story fresh and interesting.