Okay, this one was weird.
One of the most highly buzzed about independent films of the year, The Lobster starred Colin Farrell as David, who has checked himself into a specialized hotel looking to find himself a mate.
Thing is… if he doesn’t find a mate in an allotted time frame, he is turned into an animal. Yes, that is what I said. In fact, he brings his brother Bob, the dog, along with him as a reminder.
The Lobster is a futuristic, science fiction film with some examples of a dystopian world; however, the film really is a film about love and the relationships that we struggle to maintain while finding love in unexpected places.
The setting itself is very strange. There are plenty of hints about what the world is like (such as it being a law that single people must find someone to marry), but the movie does not stop to explain these hints or tell you how they came to be. I like that fact. It is like the film is telling you to pay attention and that you will be able to piece together a reasonable explanation if you just listen. There are too many films, particularly of this genre, that feel like they have to explain every little minute detail instead of trusting that the audience is smart enough to figure it out on their own.
The Lobster is also extremely dark and extremely funny. There were a couple of times when I thought that I shouldn’t have been laughing, but there I was doing it. Humor can be found in many unfortunate situations, and The Lobster displays this expertly.
At one point, David ran away from the hotel to join up with a group called The Loners in the forest surrounding the hotel. The Loners was the group that was being hunted by guests of the hotel. Killing a Loner gave you another day onto your timeline to find a mate. It is here where David actually finds someone to love (Rachel Weisz); ironically, breaking the rules of the Loners prohibiting flirting, sex or kissing.
One of my favorite things from the forest was seeing all of the weird animals walking around these Loners. We see a camel, a flamingo, a peacock etc. These are obviously people who have failed to find a match and have been turned into animals and let loose in the wilderness. These animals are just there in the background, and their inclusion is very funny.
The film is wholly original and unlike most anything you have ever seen. It is weird, warped, tragic, funny and droll. The ending of the film is up in the air to what has (or will) happen and you will be sitting in the theater wanting to know, yet not wanting to know, what does happen.
Colin Farrell is excellent as the Milquetoast David and Rachel Weisz is his perfect match as the short sighted Loner. John C. Reilly’s Lisping Man provides a new and disturbing deterrent to masturbation while Ben Whishaw’s Limping Man spends time smashing his nose into objects so he can have something in common with one of the women (Jessica Barden) at the hotel whose nose bleeds without warning. Some of the most brutal (and at times funniest) material is provided by Heartless Woman (Angeliki Papoulia), Farrell’s first attempt at a hotel relationship.
The film is the study of why people get together and why they fail with relationships. It is one of the oddest experiences you will have at the movies this year, and yet, somehow, one of the most relatable.