In a dystopian setting of contrasting shades, Yorgos Lanthimos presents us with a tale that seems to be a metaphorical representation of the puzzling and often oppressive notions of companionship in today’s world of love and intimacy. A hotel where you must oblige to find a partner in 45 days else you be turned to an animal of your choice, is an intriguing story in itself, which alone was enough to reel me in.
Basically, you are not allowed to be single, period. If you are unable to find true love in 45 days, you shall be transformed into an animal of your choice to try your luck at cupid’s arrow in another form.When asked as to what animal would he opt to be should he fail to find his beaux, David (Colin Farell) picks the Lobster, as it remains fertile throughout its life, lives to over a hundred years, and also for David’s love of the sea.
What I found most grasping was the extents to which characters seem to go to to establish a bond of any sort, even as simple as being prone to nosebleeds, as we see ‘the man with a limp’ smash his face until he does so to woo the girl who actually does suffer from regular nosebleeds. It may seem as a poor substitute for love, but in a world as oppressive and demanding as such, its something. And hey, haven’t we all pretended to like cats and hate dogs for someone? No? ….never mind..
No characters were given names besides David, which I feel contributes to the element of how one’s needs stand above all else, a sense of narcissism being painted along with the greyscale thematic that seem to run throughout the course of the story, from the clothes to the concrete buildings, to the dreary skies.
If the Lobster could speak, it would tell you how the kind of pressure society seems to subject us to find “the one” can lead us to some reckless choices. However, it portrays as radical a picture for the single one’s out there as well, represented by the ‘Loners’, a rebel faction who exist outside the bounds of society. They aren’t allowed to have sexual relations, they are’t not to enjoy slow dances as they’re forced to tune in to their own stereo equipment (basically a Walkman) and listen to only EDM tracks, something I feel which is symbolic of today’s realm of dating.
Overall, The Lobster is a film of acquired taste. It demands to be taken seriously, at admittedly a slow pace, though if followed can prove to be quite amusing and thoroughly innovative in its making. Colin Farell delivers a solid performance, managing to portray a man forced to shuttle between fundamental urges and emotional pulls, all while brilliantly pulling a straight face that conveyed both agnosticism and angst. Some fantastic employment of haunting keys on the piano in the background, and a few moments of hilarity sprinkled here and there, I found this crustacean, most engaging.