Pros: actors; a script that reveals paternal care; an atmosphere that keeps you in suspense; music by Daniel Hart Cons: The amount and monotony of dialogue may not appeal to those who enjoy the more animated Light of My Life films
Genre Drama, Thriller
Directed by Casey Affleck
Starring Casey Affleck (father), Anna Pniewski (Reg), Elisabeth Moss (mother), Tom Bower (Tom), Timothy Webber (Lemmy), Hrothgar Matthews (Calvin), etc.
Black Bear Pictures, Sea Change Media
Year of release 2019
The film “Light of My Life” takes place after the emergence of an unknown disease that has caused the death of women all over the Earth. In deserted and difficult forests, a man leads a nomadic life, hiding his little daughter Reg – she managed to save her life during the epidemic. He passes Reg off as a boy, but still tries to stay away from people who could be a potential danger to the girl. The two of them need to remain unnoticed, which becomes difficult over time – Reg grows up and curiosity awakens in her.
Unlike other films that have a similar dystopian plot, “Light of My Life” does not focus on a global catastrophe. In the film, the virus that killed half of humanity becomes just the backdrop for an important story. And its basis is fatherly love, which manifests itself in daily care.
Casey Affleck builds the script around lengthy dialogue that can be painful (like his father’s ten-minute narration that opens the film). In fact, all the conversations in the feed are important – they show how a parent builds a relationship with his child, sharing memories with him and explaining in accessible language how the world works.
Affleck’s character is not limited to the role of protector, considering it necessary to maintain an emotional connection with his daughter. In this way, the main character gradually touches on topics that, perhaps, under normal circumstances would remain unspoken. Therefore, what seemed routine and monotonous at the beginning of the film can, over time, truly touch you.
In addition, the film “The Light of My Life” is filled with constant and very tangible anxiety – the father and daughter can be found at any moment by people with bad thoughts. Also keeping you in suspense is the magnificent music by Daniel Hart, which reminds you that the heroes are in every minute anticipation of an attack. The terrain where the characters are forced to wander day after day adds even more gravity to the moment. These are forests saturated with dampness, where you would not want to spend the night.
At first, it feels like Casey Affleck is taking on too much, trying to direct every aspect of the film. But after the final scene, his efforts become justified. He, as a director, manages to maintain a balance between a fictional plot and the realism of what is happening. There are moments in the film that are completely opposite to Hollywood action thrillers – that is why they make you worry and worry about the heroes, who are vulnerable, like any of us.
Casey Affleck’s acting is also impressive. On screen, he appears as both a strong and tired man, whose high survival rate is due to a sense of responsibility. There is nothing supernatural about it, but at the same time it symbolizes protection and unquestioning dedication. It is no coincidence that Affleck’s character in the film does not have a name; the viewer knows him only as his father.
The film also contains short but important episodes with the deceased mother – she is played by Elisabeth Moss. She appears in the protagonist’s memories and briefly illustrates the situation that occurred during the mass death of women.
The role of a surviving girl named Reg is played by Anna Pniewski, who expresses a child’s curiosity and openness to the world, overriding any mortal danger. The young actress fits well into the atmosphere of the film and does not get lost against the background of Casey Affleck.
“The Light of My Life” is a painting that leaves behind a place for reflection. And not even about the fate of the heroes, but about the essence of parental care. It is likely that the film may seem monotonous to those who were expecting a more detailed description of the world in which a terrible epidemic occurred. However, this film has a different purpose and does not focus on fantastic elements.
The film “The Light of My Life” is not without meaning. She raises important topics and has protagonists who evoke sincere empathy. Despite the completely fictitious plot, the film remains close to reality.