Thoughts on… The Lobster (2015)

The LobsterDirector Yorgos Lanthimos’ sixth feature film, The Lobster (2015), is a strange and wonderful affair; a film that will stick in your mind for quite some time. It’s a story about the state of courtship and love in an unfamiliar, uncompromising, and mildly upsetting future. Its synopsis is as follows:

In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods. (source)

Here is a selection of my thoughts on this very unique film.

  1. I first became acquainted with director Yorgos Lanthimos through Dogtooth (2009) – a thoroughly unsettling and uncomfortable, yet mystifying and intriguing film.
  2. Lanthimos is one strange thinker. And that’s what I love about him.
  3. The Lobster is one of those films where you’re invited into its world and have to quickly acclimatise to it; a dizzying and challenging experience.
  4. The world of The Lobster is a weird one, but it’s explained in a natural manner within the story as opposed to the film being heavy with exposition.
  5. Likewise, the story and central conflict develop naturally, with the film’s rebellious relationship (no spoilers here) being  a particular highlight.
  6. The film’s humour is dark and deadpan, and there are some laugh-out-loud moments where you might feel a little bit bad for doing so.
  7. Lanthimos also asserts himself as the master of ambiguous endings that keep you guessing. But that’s all I’ll say about that.
  8. Colin Farrell leads this film with a strong performance, as a complex man who wants to be a lobster if he can’t find a wife (good choice). It may be my favourite role of his career thus far.
  9. However, my favourite performance of the film is possibly a tie between John C Reilly’s dedicated friend and bumbling lover-man, and LΓ©a Seydoux’s cold villainess.
  10. I think this is probably one of those films that you’ll either love, or you’ll hate. It’s not like people who might dislike this film “don’t get it”, or “don’t understand the director”; it’s more about your own personal tolerance of the absurd. If you have a lower tolerance than some, this would probably be a somewhat painful viewing experience.
  11. I, for one, love the absurd and welcome it into my life on a daily basis. Which might be half the reason why I loved The Lobster so much.
  12. Highly recommended.

5/5
Watch the trailer here.

26 comments

  1. Sounds strange and magnificent

    1. It’s definitely both strange and magnificent! One might even say it’s magnificently strange.

  2. Fully loved this one and yes I agree it’s one of Farrell’s most memorable roles

    1. Definitely one of my favourite Farrell films. I normally find him a bit of a pain, but he was great in this!

  3. Been meaning to check this one out. I’ve heard nothing but great things so far.

    1. You should absolutely check this out, post haste!

  4. I’ve enjoyed Yorgos Lanthimo’s previous films but what has given me reservations about this one is that:

    1) it’s in English and usually international directors suffer when working outside their own world

    2) I can’t stand Colin Farrell. Everything about him just annoys me and makes him a real turn off for me. 😦

    1. Your first point is an interesting one! I’ve had the same frustrating film-watching experience with international directors kind of missing the mark in English films. I was very pleasantly surprised by this though, it still retained the flavour of Lanthimos’ other films, which was great since he has such a unique voice!

      1. Okay, I’ve relented and added it to my LOVEFilm rental list but if I don’t like it, you know who I’m going to blame! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜› (jk)

  5. This one held the title of ‘strangest movie ever’ for me until I saw Swiss Army Man!
    I absolutely loved the first half of The Lobster but it started to lose me after that. The ending was perfect, though!
    – Allie

    1. I’m looking forward to seeing Swiss Army Man soon! I can’t wait for the weirdness! πŸ˜€

  6. It’s been over a year since I saw it at TIFF and I haven’t needed a rewatch yet because it’s proven unforgettable.

    1. Truly unforgettable! I can’t wait to watch it again and pick up on the interesting bits in the background though. I noticed a lot of little animals scurrying around!

  7. Yay!!! Go Anna!! I gave this full marks too, I just couldn’t stop laughing!! I need to check out Dogtooth

    1. Dogtooth is pretty great! It’s a very different film but it retains that special Yorgos Lanthimos style.

      1. Great to hear! I must check out some of this guy’s other work, I really loved this flick

  8. The big question is – what animal would you choose to be?!

    1. I’ve given this some thought, and I genuinely think I would just want to be a normal domesticated house cat. My cats have the best lives just relaxing and doing nothing all day, I wouldn’t mind it! What about you?

      1. I’d have to be a bear. I like the idea of hibernating and eating campers. Basically I already live this way, it’s why I’m banned from all national parks.

        1. I mean, that’s the ideal. Bear life is best life.

  9. I loved the Lobster too! and have re-watched on a couple of occasions with friends who wanted to see it. There are lots of little details which i caught the second and third viewings.

    1. I definitely can’t wait to watch it again to pick up on the little details!

  10. Great post! I’ve been meaning to see this film for a while. I really like absurdist films, so this is something that will definitely appeal to me.

    1. Thanks Liam! You should definitely watch this one post haste!

  11. […] the films of director Yorgos Lanthimos. I was fascinated by Dogtooth (2009), I fell in love with The Lobster (2015), and I was completely entranced by The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017). I felt like after […]

  12. […] wild ride. I’ve also loved his previous films such as Dogtooth (2009), Alps (2011), and The Lobster (2015). This film was a very worthy addition to a very excellent […]

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