Title: The Lobster
MPAA: Rated R for sexual content including dialogue, and some violence
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden, John C. Reilly
Synopsis: A love story set in a dystopian near future where single people are arrested and transferred to a creepy hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal, of their choosing, and released into the woods.
Just by reading the synopsis to this film, you know that this will be a unique film that you have never seen before. This is very much the case for The Lobster. The plot is very strange, but if you take it for what it is, than you might really enjoy it. After watching this film, I sat in the movie theater and just stared at the screen, pondering about what I just saw. This kind of had the same impact as me as The Neon Demon did earlier this year. This film makes you think which is one of the highest praises you can give a film. So, how were the performances?
Colin Farrell plays the main character who has just broken up with his wife after finding out she has cheated on him. We follow this character as he is sent to the hotel to find his new mate, and all the craziness that ensues. Farrell gives a very subtle performance in this film. He displays the agony and depression of his character very well, but never goes over-the-top or overacts. It’s a very realistic performance, which is something I really respected. Farrell also gains a lot of weight for this film. It really is fantastic, and is one where I don’t see Colin Farrell in this performance, just the character that he is portraying. The supporting actors all give great performances as well. There isn’t one that really stands from all the rest, but all the actors give solid performances. Rachel Weisz does a great job in this film. She narrates about half the film, and we get introduced to her character about half way through. She plays a pivotal part in the film from there on.
The directing in this film is very ambitious. Lanthimos does things in this film that are very bold, but he stays true to the message that he is giving. There are a lot of themes and metaphors about love and relationships in this film. The pros and cons of being in a relationship and being single are heavily fluctuated throughout this film. I like to look at this film as more of an experiment than an actual film for pleasure. It will be hard to really enjoy this film and attach yourself to the characters. I don’t think that was Lathimos’s purpose with this film. His main purpose was to give his take on modern relationships through a theoretical, dystopian scenario. It is really fascinating to watch this tale unfold, and has a very unpredictable ending. Unfortunately there are scenes in this film that may have been taken too far, and may disturb some people. It is certainly not an easy film to watch, but does have a lasting impact that will make people realize things about relationships that they may not have noticed before.
Overall, The Lobster is a highly original film that goes places a lot of other films would dare to go. It’s a film that won’t satisfy the majority of movie goers, but has a fantastic message that may cause people to examine their own lives or past relationships. I think this film is very similar to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, where it is very original and exposes how people behave before, during, and after relationships. However, it lacks in having great characters that you attach yourself too, and root for. This is why I think The Lobster won’t become a huge hit, and may become a forgotten gem. However, it is very unique with its premise and it’s surprising humor. It is really well made with some great cinematography. This film can be very depressing at times, but also very funny. It is an interesting film and should be checked out by anyone who is looking to watch a film that requires you to think and is nothing like you have seen before. My grade for this film is: