"An interesting film at the end of the day, but in a very different way. It offers us a picture of a very judgemental society which, hopefully, we will not get to experience"
Yorgos Lanthimos’ story presents us with a world in which being single might get you hunted down, literally. Without specifying the actual timeline in which the film is set, the director manages to create the impression of a very strange possible future.
The main plot is quite an untangled one: if you are single, widowed or divorced you have to check in into a certain hotel where you will have a bit over a month to fall in love and get back to the normality that is brought by life in a relationship. If you don’t fall for someone you will be turned into an animal of your choosing.
The first part of the film, where we get to meet the main character is a strange one but a good kind of strange; David (Colin Farrell) is a recently separated architect who is checking into the hotel together with his brother, now a dog. He clearly didn’t manage the falling in love part. The system he has to go through can at times be as frustrating as it is amusing: new friends resort to lying to get the desired relationship, but when David does it, the situation turns against him, he is turned on daily by the maid and left in that situation and he needs to shoot and kill loners in order for his stay to be prolonged.
Loners are the single people opposing the system who live in Robin Hood style very close to the hotel. In opposition to the hotel manager (Olivia Colman) is the loners’ leader (Léa Seydoux). The leader of the loners encourages her followers to interact without flirting or they will be punished with very specific things. The loners had to be very each for their own, even dancing was done alone, they used to dance only to electronic music.
After a sudden change in the action, David ends up as part of the other camp, only to finally fall in love with someone. The only problem was that this time he really shouldn't as a loner. Even worse is the fact that the lucky short sighted lady (Rachel Weisz), responds to his feelings. This uncomfortable, but somewhat interesting situation makes them develop codes and strategies in order to fool everyone. Eventually they do end up together, but don't believe even for one second that it is drama free.
We get to witness a much metamorphosed Colin Farrell, one that seems more close to the character that he plays. David seems indecisive and to have sort of given up the fight at one point. Also he stays quite rooted in that very strange reality and somewhat presents to the audience the clear marks by a probably not very good long term relationship. After meeting Rachel’s character his attitude changes and the enthusiasm brought by a new love makes him desire even more what he can’t have.
Rachael Weisz presents us with a very shy woman. Her classic beauty is still there, even when living in some woods in the middle of nowhere. She is encouraging of David and almost terrified at the possibility of losing him.
The Lobster is an interesting film at the end of the day, but in a very different way. It offers us a picture of a very judgemental society which, hopefully, we will not get to experience. The action on the full was a bit more prolonged than it was needed but the humour attached to it in the first part made the overall experience not such a hard one to bear. It is funny, it has a sort of lesson attached to it and is well played, which in the end makes a story whole.