This film is based on a 2012 novel by the same name written by an Australian author Ms M L Stedman who was born and raised in West Australia and today lives in the UK.
It is set in 1918 on an isolated lighthouse located on the southern tip of Western Australia where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean.
The film is the result of an international effort involving the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand. The locations used for the filming were New Zealand and Australia with the New Zealand locations being the Port
Chalmers Peninsula, Saint Bathans in CentralOtago, and the Cape Campbell Lighthouse in Marlborough.
The film reveals a rugged windswept location that is lonely and isolated but has its own beauty.
The film is centred around a World War 1 veteran Tom (played by Michael Fassbender a 39-year old German born actor that has appeared in television shows) who returns from
the European battlefield in late 1918 and gets a job as a Lighthouse Keeper. Tom marries Isabel (played by Alicia Vikander a 28-year old Swedish actress who won an Academy Award for best Actress in ‘The Danish
Girl’) after a whirlwind romance that includes a picnic and one kiss. They quickly marry and both go to live on a desolate island that houses a lighthouse.
After a few years and several sad events they find a baby drifting off the island in a row boat. The story I found to be somewhat implausible and I thought the Biblical story of baby Moses in the bulrushes to be more
believable than the row boat story.The story from that point on is about what is morally right and the truth versus what is morally wrong and living a life of lies.
The third main character of Hannah, the birth mother of the baby (played by Rachel Weisz who won an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in ‘The Constant Gardener’)
The film is well acted particularly by Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander where the chemistry was so realistic that they went on to be partners in real-life.
The aging of one of the main characters by 30 plus years at the end of the film was not at all realistic but most viewers would overlook that minor fault.
The film does run for 2hrs 13m but it does hold interest without drifting pointlessly in the middle as sometimes happens.
The film shots, film sets and acting make this film worth seeing. I think it is worthy of three and a half stars.