The Lobster Movie Review
When you see as many films as I do, you begin to gravitate toward the completely original. Strange and unusual, THE LOBSTER is by no means a perfect movie, but it is definitely unique and subsequently one of the best movies of the year.
THE LOBSTER exists in an unusual world where being single is considered the ultimate taboo. Okay, so maybe that isn’t too far of a stretch in some circles. After his wife leaves him, David (Colin Farrell), along with his dog who happens to be his brother (stay with me), checks into a hotel where he has 45 days to find a compatible mate. If he is unable to achieve this task, then he will be turned into an animal of his choosing. If it comes to that, David has chosen a lobster, which he is told is a very good choice. To encourage the singles on this endeavor, they get the privilege of watching sketches put on by the hotel staff that demonstrate the dangers of being single and the perks of being in a relationship. At mealtime, the singles each have their own individual table facing the couples and their happiness with one another.
Occasionally, the singles are taken on a hunt. Geared up with a tranquilizer gun and loaded up onto a bus, the singles are driven out to the woods where they may accumulate extra days for every runaway, animal dodging single person they shoot. Every line of dialogue, every action and every response is delivered with a dry seriousness as if this way of life is completely reasonable. The earnestness in which THE LOBSTER is told, through acting and story telling, plays a large part in the film’s success.
Middle-age seems to be suiting Colin Farrell quite well. As the frumpy, introverted everyman, Farrell delivers his best performance to date, embodying many internal emotions with little dialogue. The rest of the supporting cast is also superb. Labeled by David, the other characters are defined by one dominant trait, which they seem to use to find common ground when looking for a mate – The Lisping Man (John C. Reilly), The Heartless Woman (Angeliki Papoulia), The Nosebleed Woman (Jessica Barden), The Biscuit Woman (Ashley Jensen), The Limping Man (Ben Whishaw), The Hotel Manager (Olivia Colman). About halfway through, THE LOBSTER takes a reverse approach to the insanity where we are introduced to a set of new characters – A Short Sighted Woman (Rachel Weisz) A Loner Leader (Lea Seydoux).
The whole process of other’s view on how to find a mate versus one’s own desires is quite fascinating. Careful to explain but not be weighed down by questions, THE LOBSTER presents an unusually captivating world that is strange, silly and sad. Through all the inherent humor within the subject matter, the most striking emotion is the sorrow. Yes, it’s a quirky little film but it’s also devastatingly dark and deeply emotional.
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos who also co-wrote the script with Efthymis Filippou, THE LOBSTER is a dry, witty commentary on our perceptions of love, loneliness and companionship. At times it is a bit unsettling and the second half of the film drags on longer than necessary. Perhaps the potential is not fully realized but THE LOBSTER is both deeply disturbing and absurdly beautiful. I laughed, I cried, and I loved every moment of it.