Light Of My Life works with a slow yet emotional narrative that seeks to secure your empathy before moving forward. This character-driven film is carried by the great performances and an intriguing premise that plays out really well.
Reflecting on this movie after viewing it, I noticed how well it was handled. Casey Affleck wrote, directed and starred in it, and managed to deliver an emotional story that actually gets viewers invested via the subject matter. He doesn’t wish to manipulate your feelings but rather present you with the situation as raw and realistically as possible, and that is evident in his decisions behind the camera too. ‘Light Of My Life’ follows a father struggling to protect his child from society, one decade after a pandemic wiped out half the world’s population.
This movie is quite slow-paced and proves that with a twelve minute opening scene that really tests one’s patience. However, this works to its advantage as we are given time to familiarize ourselves with the characters and the setting, understanding why these characters live in isolation and how their bond evolves. I really liked how the father-daughter bond was projected along with their survival routines. The atmosphere is captured correctly as that sense of emptiness and isolation is felt throughout the whole film. Despite that there is also a sense of hope and innocence through the eyes of the child.
All that slow build-up leads to an intense climax that has you genuinely caring for the characters. Affleck opts to decrease aesthetic value in favor of a simple narrative that suits the whole mood, proving that less is more in this case. He also delivers an amazing performance along with newcomer Anna Pnioswky. I thought that some of the supporting characters could’ve had a better role in the story but that’s not a huge issue. Overall this is a heartfelt movie that seeks to move you and though it’s definitely not for everyone, it’s well worth a viewing.