First, this is not a narrative film; however, it was an interesting and promising artistic film adaptation of Byron's poem Darkness. While the film may be great for the literature/history buff and does have some artistic merit, for most audiences, it ultimately falls flat. The film gives little context about the event leading to the cataclysmic darkness, which kinda makes sense when taken in the historical context of the poem. Tangent: I did appreciate the scene with snow/ash as a subtle nod Mt. Tambora eruption of 1815, which initiated the "year without a summer", but part of the failings of the film is the subtly of the context which is starkly opposed to the drama of the relationships. Within this lack of context, the writer throws in a random suicide which occurred years prior, and LGTBQ relationship, both of which felt random, unexplained, and without enough context for empathy.
While the script bordered the melodramatic (intensified by the lack of context for the tableaus and vignettes of various degrees of suffering), the actors gave honest performances which engaged the viewer. Where the film really succeeded was in the lighting, scene/sets, and cinematography. The cinematographer managed to capture the vast opulence of a massive estate while simultaneously giving the viewer the sensation of a shrinking impoverished environment (which most of us understand in the current SIP environment).
Overall, the film played out less like a film and more like a visual score, with disparate notes loosely linked into a melody carried by the mise-en-scene, albeit the composition was far more Stravinsky than Beethoven.