RELEASED 2016 RUNTIME 118 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION YORGOS LANTHIMOS SCREENPLAY EFTHYMIS FILIPPOU, YORGOS LANTHIMOS STARRING COLIN FARRELL, RACHEL WEISZ, JESSICA BARDEN, OLIVIA COLMAN, ASHLEY JENSEN, ARIANE LABED, ANGELIKI PAPOULIA, JOHN C. REILLY, LEA SEYDOUX, MICHAEL SMILEY, BEN WHISHAW
The Lobster is a drama/comedy by Yorgos Lanthimos starring Collin Farrell as David who in a dystopian future is sent to a hotel to find a partner in 45 days in order to avoid being transformed into an animal and sent into the woods.
This is a tough one. It’s an art house film which naturally makes it difficult to review because how do you review art? It has to do something for you emotionally and spiritually. It definitely did something. But was it intentional or not? That’s a different question.
First of all, get ready for a weird ride. It’s set in a dystopian future where people are being institutionalized, in order to find a partner. If they don’t, they are being turned to animals. If that wasn’t weird enough, every person in this world is being very awkward. And with awkward I mean awkward in the worst sense possible. All the dialogue by the actors and their body language is being delivered in a way that just throws you off. I mean, it throws you off the way an old guy does when coming up to you randomly in the subway and starts talking to you about his mom. It’s that awkward. Seriously strange! It’s so awkward that for the entire movie the only thing I was concerned with was why the hell are these people being like that? The movie never gives you an explanation. At first I thought it’s because they are being institutionalized. However, even the wardens are this way.
But then what really threw me off was that here and there is a person who seems more or less normal. So what the hell?!
I think that’s my main problem with the film. Why is the world setup like that in this odd way?! Maybe I just don’t get it and maybe the movie is not for me.
That being said, I love the cast a lot and they all do incredible playing awkward people. I even had to laugh at some of the weird humor that comes along with such performances and weird character interactions. The actors totally play it straight, which is quite amazing.
Colin Farrell for instance is spectacular in the role and for some reason it feels totally natural seeing him like that. Maybe it’s because he naturally looks like a soft dude the way he raises his eyebrows when he talks in other roles and real life. Just something I noticed over the years 😉
But all the other actors are fantastic as well. Especially Ben Wishaw and Angeliki Papoulia stand out to me in their supportive roles.
Hmm… Where am I going with this?
The movie feels very European. With that I mean it’s very detail oriented and calm. There is a lot of forest scenes and natural sounds creating a very cold atmosphere. Paired with the weird premise it feels very special. If I could only get the message behind it, which I think I understand, but then I don’t, if that makes any sense.
I think what it ultimately wants to convey is putting a mirror in front of us and showing where humanity is heading. We are becoming more and more anti-social and if we continue that way, even finding a partner will be a task we won’t be able to master by ourselves. Ultimately the institution works as a dating agency, only more hands on.
The entire theory would make sense to me, if only I could figure out why people are being turned into animals, if they don’t find a partner in time. Maybe you can tell me in the comments after watching the film.
I feel bad giving the movie a “meh” score because I’m pretty sure there is a meaning behind all this weirdness. But after one month of thinking about it, I am tired. Maybe if I re-watch it in the future I will get more out of it and the score will change. But for now “meh” is exactly how I feel.
If you love European art-house films, this one is definitely is for you!