Monday, July 1, 2024

Liz Whittemore's thoughts on Beacon (2024) Tribeca 2024


This review originally ran at Liz's regular home REEL NEWS DAILY

Director Roxy Shih brings mystery and tension to Tribeca 2024 audiences with her film BEACON. Emily’s solo sailing voyage ends when she shipwrecks in rough seas. Her rescuer is the lighthouse keeper on a remote island. They are wary of one another, trading sailor superstitions while they wait for the weather to comply. 

Demi├ín Bichir plays our suspicious keeper l, Ismael, with grace and calm but always quietly keeping Emily at arm’s length. His apprehension is palpable. Bichir delivers a complex portrayal of a man haunted by his isolation. He is magnificent. Julia Goldani Telles gives Emily a slick darkness. Holding her own on-screen opposite Bichir, Telles brings a mesmerizing feistiness that pushes the envelope. 

Daphne Quin Wu‘s cinematography is inviting. The intimacy, the lighting, and the beautiful framing draw you in. Two strangers in a small space automatically lead to distrust and claustrophobia. Screenwriter Julio Rojas challenges us at every turn as Emily and Ismael continuously manipulate one another. Clever fantasy sequences and questionable behavior from both parties have you guessing from moment to moment. BEACON is a heart-pounding psychological thriller of the highest caliber. You’ll be questioning everything the second the screen goes black.

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