Watch Keep the Lights On
- 1 hr 41 min
Keep the Lights On is a deeply personal and introspective drama film directed by Ira Sachs, which takes a closer look at the highs and lows of a romantic relationship between two men. Starring Thure Lindhardt and Zachary Booth in lead roles, the movie follows the tumultuous journey of their relationship as they navigate through addiction, infidelity, and personal growth. The story is set in New York City in the late 1990s and early 2000s, where we are introduced to Erik (Lindhardt), a successful Danish documentary filmmaker, who one night meets Paul (Booth), a handsome and charming lawyer on a gay chat line. They start seeing each other regularly, and soon enough, they start to develop feelings for each other. Despite Paul's erratic behavior and a growing drug addiction, their relationship blossoms, and they become inseparable. However, as time passes, Paul's addiction spirals out of control, and their relationship becomes strained. Erik tries his best to help Paul overcome his addiction, but he fails, and the situation worsens when Paul starts cheating on him. As their relationship implodes, Erik finds solace in his work and starts to focus on his career. He starts recording interviews with Paul, chronicling their relationship, and the impact of addiction on their lives. Though they remain friends, Erik starts a new relationship with a woman named Claire (Julianne Nicholson), whom he quickly falls for. The movie follows Erik and Paul's journey over several years as they explore and come to terms with their feelings, their addictions, and their complex relationship. One of the film's most significant strengths is its authenticity. Director Ira Sachs based the movie on his own experiences of a tumultuous six-year relationship he had, which lends a real sense of intimacy and vulnerability to the story. The film perfectly captures the nuances and complexities of a modern-day romantic relationship, with its ups and downs, insecurities, and vulnerabilities. It's a raw and heartfelt portrayal of two people in love, even when they're far from perfect. The performances by Thure Lindhardt and Zachary Booth are outstanding. They both brilliantly capture the emotional and physical struggles of the characters. Thure Lindhardt as Erik delivers a nuanced performance, portraying the character's confusion and heartbreak exceptionally well. Zachary Booth, on the other hand, brings intensity and complexity to the role of Paul, capturing the character's vulnerability and dynamic personality. Julianne Nicholson as Claire also gives an excellent performance, portraying the character's stability and grounded energy. The film's pacing and cinematography are excellent as well. The movie is visually striking with its depiction of New York City in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The camera work is shaky at times, which mirrors the turbulent nature of the characters' lives. The film's soundtrack is also noteworthy, featuring songs from iconic musicians such as Thelonious Monk, Arthur Russell, and Robert Schumann. The music adds an immersive and soulful layer to the story. Overall, Keep the Lights On is a poignant and introspective film that is both powerful and heartbreaking in its portrayal of love, addiction, and human frailty. It's a raw and honest portrayal of the highs and lows of a relationship, and one that will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled with addiction or struggling to hold onto a relationship.