Director 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.
- I first became acquainted with director Yorgos Lanthimos through Dogtooth (2009) – a thoroughly unsettling and uncomfortable, yet mystifying and intriguing film.
- Lanthimos is one strange thinker. And that’s what I love about him.
- 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.
- 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.
- Likewise, the story and central conflict develop naturally, with the film’s rebellious relationship (no spoilers here) being a particular highlight.
- 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.
- Lanthimos also asserts himself as the master of ambiguous endings that keep you guessing. But that’s all I’ll say about that.
- 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.
- However, my favourite performance of the film is possibly a tie between John C Reilly’s dedicated friend and bumbling lover-man, and Léa Seydoux’s cold villainess.
- 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.
- 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.
- Highly recommended.
Watch the trailer here.