The Ligth Be­tween Oceans

Malta Independent - - CINEMA -

The best-sell­ing novel that swept read­ers away with its trans­port­ing story of fate, love, moral dilem­mas and the lengths one cou­ple will go to see their hard­fought dreams re­al­ized, comes to the screen as a lush, clas­si­cally star-crossed ro­mance star­ring Michael Fass­ben­der, Ali­cia Vikan­der and Rachel Weisz writ­ten for the screen and di­rected by Derek Cian­france. As mes­mer­iz­ingly beau­ti­ful as it is heart­break­ing, M.L. St­ed­man’s novel “The Light Be­tween Oceans” was a lit­er­ary sen­sa­tion upon its pub­li­ca­tion in 2012. Set on the re­mote edge of Western Aus­tralia in the years fol­low­ing the dev­as­ta­tion of the Great War, the book lured read­ers into a se­duc­tively old­fash­ioned tale of love and im­pos­si­ble choices be­neath which lay roil­ing, con­tem­po­rary ques­tions of right and wrong, the ef­fects of war and peace, the won­ders of con­nec­tion and the dan­gers of blind scru­ples. This is where Tom Sher­bourne, a shell-shocked vet­eran, de­votes him­self to his new job as light­house keeper on the oth­er­wise un­in­hab­ited Janus Rock, sur­rounded by noth­ing but the vast sea, seek­ing so­lace in the soli­tude. He in­tends to re­main alone, but un­ex­pect­edly meets Is­abel Graysmark, a vi­va­cious young woman from the town of Partageuse across­the har­bor, her­self griev­ing two broth­ers lost in the war.

De­spite the ob­sta­cles, their love flour­ishes in the stark iso­la­tion and they are soon mar­ried. Pas­sion­ate for each other and hop­ing to be part of cre­at­ing a new life to­gether, they try to start a fam­ily, but fate in­ter­cedes. Then, one night, a mys­te­ri­ous row­boat hold­ing a dead man and an in­fant girl washes ashore, set­ting off a chain of de­ci­sions—some im­petu­ous, oth­ers wrench­ing— that un­ravel with shat­ter­ing con­se­quences. Cian­france im­me­di­ately felt the cin­e­matic po­ten­tial of a story that in­vokes the power of land­scape, the af­ter­math of war, the all-con­sum­ing state of pas­sion and, most of all, the age­less tra­di­tion of ro­mances that push a cou­ple into il­lu­mi­nat­ing moral bor­der­lands. He adapted St­ed­man’s book faith­fully, yet with a film­maker’s eye for the de­tails that pro­pel hu­man re­la­tion­ships into both bliss and catas­tro­phe. Clas­si­fi­ca­tion 12A

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