The Lobster has to be one of the most unconventional and strangest movies I have possibly ever seen. A movie that is part dystopian fantasy, part romantic comedy, and part absurdist drama, The Lobster is not easy to pigeonhole. It is because of the diversity of this film, that it continues to stay with me long after I have watched it.
The movie is about David (Colin Farrell) an architect that has recently broken up with his girlfriend and his to live in a hotel to find a mate within 45 days. If he does not find a mate, he will turn into an animal, in this case a lobster. Throughout his stay, David attempts to find love, but ends joining a group of loners where he meets a short-sighted woman (Rachel Weisz), and they end up falling in love. While this sounds straight forward, this story is anything but conventional.
Director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth) creates a story that has strokes of director Jean-Luc Godard and writer Albert Camus. Godard believes that the audience has to be disengaged with the story in order for them to connect with a movie; Camus believes that life is nothing but absurdity, and that ultimately humanity is one big cosmic joke. If you were to combine these two elements, Lanthimos is trying to make sure that the audience realizes that this movie is just a joke that is designed to make you uncomfortable. Because of this reaction, the movie stays with the audience longer and makes you think about its themes, which I’m not sure it has.
An example of this uncomfortable feeling is with the score. Using harsh-staccato strings, Lanthimos is trying to create something that is always putting the audience on edge, something that Alfred Hitchcock used to great effect in Psycho. The absurdity kicks in with the fact that the two main characters are in love, but do not engage in kind of physical connection. I still do not understand what this ultimately means, but I know that it has stayed with me.
Also featuring beautiful cinematography, The Lobster is ultimately about how absurd and uncomfortable falling in love can be. It also features one of the most wide open interpretive endings I’ve ever seen in a movie in quite a while. Be warned that this is not for anyone, and anyone anticipating a laugh-out riot will be disappointed.
Fun Fact: It features John C. Reilly and Olivia Colman, always a good thing.
If I were to comeback as an animal, I’d come back as a spoiled fat house-cat.
Rating: 3 out of 4 stars.