The Lobster: Film Review

The Lobster is a brilliant, thought-provoking film, but it will not suit everybody because it is so flipping weird. I would urge readers to check out the synopsis before you go otherwise it is going to take a while to piece the puzzle together – it is still a head-stratcher, but having context certainly helps.

This comedy slash drama is set in the dystopian near future where having a romantic partner is a matter of life and death. David (Colin Farrell) is left by his wife, and he must have a partner, so he is sent to The Hotel, where he has 45 days to match up with another guest. If he does not manage it in that time, he will be turned into an animal of his choosing (as you may have guessed, he picks a Lobster).

lobster1

This is probably the most unique idea I have ever heard, and the film itself acknowledges the concept is strange, especially through rules set by Hotel Manager (Olivia Colman). It is very bizarre, and sometimes you just have to laugh about it, but it is still accessible – it’s not difficult to understand what is happening, it just the why and what’s the point that’s more tricky. I guess it’s a sort of parody on relationships. I found it all massively intriguing and David is a perfect window into this crazy world.

There is a brilliant support cast too from Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw and Lea Seydoux. None of them are given names, but are recognised by their shortcomings, for example Whishaw has a limp. This is not some lovely comedy either. Yes, it is funny (mostly because of its oddness) but there are some properly horrific, shocking and tense scenes. I was watching through my fingers occasionally.

lobster3

I did find it hard to connect to any of the characters though. None of them seemed too desperate about finding a partner, too worried about being an animal and David was pretty emotionless throughout. It is just hard to relate to people in such an odd situation. Also once David escapes to The Woods and discovers his proper partner, which is against the rules, it does get a bit repetitive and tedious, and you wonder where it could possibly go. The very end is annoying because it leaves you with unanswered questions, but that could be expected given the nature of film.

Like I said, this is not going to please everybody. It is slow-moving, it is weird but I think it is totally fascinating. It was a joy to watch something so utterly out-of-the-box and fresh. The cast was brilliant and the mix of comedy, drama and horror-type shocks is a winning combination. Very impressed.

In cinemas 16th October 

Comments

  1. New to my radar screen–will have to check it out!

Trackbacks

  1. […] and a good psychological thriller so this looks right up my street. Yorgos Lanthimos follows up The Lobster with a story about a surgeon who develops an odd friendship with a teenager. It is so mysterious […]

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