The Lobster – 4 out of 5
I remember reading an article about this film when it went into production and just hearing what it was going to be about had me sold. I like strange tales and movies that make me wonder what the hell I am watching for a majority of the time it’s on and, with the subject material of the plot fitting that, this one seemed like it would be right up my alley. So, was The Lobster a unique, slightly odd film I could get behind or was it not worth my time? As usual, pretend you don’t see the score when I ask questions like this.
|I don't even want to put a caption here because this is just a nice photo.|
In a dystopian society, being alone is not a good thing and when a person finds themselves without a partner, they are sent to a hotel where they are given 45 days to find someone or they are transformed into an animal. After David’s (Colin Farrell) wife leaves him for someone else, he finds himself heading to that very hotel with his brother—who was turned into a dog—at his side. While he ultimately meets someone, he finds that he doesn’t want to be a part of this society and escapes to join with a group that calls themselves The Loners. They are completely the opposite of the society as they forbid relationships of any kind. Unfortunately, David meets a woman in the group (Rachel Weisz) and the two start to fall for each other.
|I don't know. The hotel looks like my kind of party!|
The thing that really brought me to the dance with The Lobster is the story. Just the idea of a reality where you have to have a partner or you end up being transformed into an animal is something that just sounds crazy enough for my weirdo brain to dig. I never bothered to see a trailer and the only other information I allowed myself to gather was who was in the cast—which also included John C. Reilly and I love that guy! So, it should be noted that I went into the film pretty green and with very little knowledge of what was going to occur. Hell, I didn’t even bother to see what the critical consensus was on Rotten Tomatoes.
The thing that really struck me about the film after it was over is the fact, to me, it felt like an oddball movie with a strange concept that one would see in the 70s (they loved their weird visions of the future) but mixed with a heavy dose of our modern dramas and filmmaking approaches that we see in our current indie films. These elements came together to really form a movie that was dry, bleak, interesting, kinda hopeful in a weird way, and intriguing all at the same time.
|I don't know how anyone can NOT love John C. Reilly.|
And I still hold firm that there should be a bio-pic of P.T. Barnum
with Reilly as Barnum.
While there are elements of the film that disappointed me—for example, there’s a plot point I really would have liked to see more of (Spoiler Alert: It’s the part that involved changing people into animals. I wanna see a whole documentary-style film that centers on that element) and the film doesn’t offer a lot of replay value in it for me but, overall, I was pretty impressed. There was an amazing balance this film struck that seemed to have every facet of its creation mirroring one another. The performances were very subdued, the fact it was filmed only with natural light, no makeup was used on the actors, and it has a story that is fairly over-the-top but never executed in a way to make it appear over-the-top all came together to make a film that was very simple and incredible effective.
|Let's get a spin-off that shows the story of the guy who was turned into|
There’s no flash or real exploration of dynamic visual style in this movie (even though the simplicity of the whole film itself is a sort of exploration) and that, on the surface, can make The Lobster appear to be very boring to many viewers. Hell, I’ll admit that this film is not for everyone because it is in this dry, deadpan delivery that holds the magic. The entire film just felt otherworldly and odd but, at the same time, approachable and down-to-earth and I think that stems from how the film isn’t too gaudy in its editing, lighting or acting. While the stoic approach that director Yorgos Lanthimos took bears the potential for lots of audience members to be turned off by The Lobster, I found a film that I was strangely absorbed into and couldn’t turn away from.
|Don't as for fucks from The Loners because none they shall give.|
The Lobster is a unique and simply crafted film that offers up some interesting ideas about human companionship and the role it plays in our society. While I didn’t find a movie that I will ever watch again, I won’t deny that I was enamored with its one-of-a-kind story, striking simplicity and dry presentation. However, I still would love to see a documentary-like approach to the whole “turning people into animals” thing. That element sorta reminded me of Overdrawn at the Memory Bank.