“The Lobster” is definitely an interesting movie and even if not perfect is a fresh breeze in the film world where love stories are dominated by sugar coated American productions. The feature takes place in a dystopian future, where everyone is forced to have a partner. If you lose one you have to move to the Hotel where you have 45 days to find your new mate. If you fail you’re turned into an animal of your choice. The main unnamed character, The Shortsighted Man (Colin Farrell) chooses to become a lobster if he fails, hence the title.
To say more about the plot would be to take away part of the pleasure from observing and understanding this alien world. Its customs and a rules are odd yet fascinating and one feels like an anthropologist studying a newly found trouble when watching the movie. Even though the setting is quite tragic, the film isn’t deprived of humor and there are quite a few moments when one can’t help but smile.
The acting is at the highest level. I was positively surprised by Colin Farrell whom I never considered to be a particularly gifted actor and who delivers a stunning performance. It’s also nice to see Rachel Weich who not only doesn’t age but also doesn’t get trapped in signature mannerism (a vice of many accomplished actors). Bond fans will be pleased to see his new girl from “Spectre”. She can be heard speaking French but not seen being drawn like one of the French girls (wink wink). Those who have an undying love for “Peep Show” also will be positively surprised by someone’s presence.
What is more, the movie is quite theatrical. The moment we start to truly relate to the characters, it is interrupted with a surreal scene often accompanied by music, which makes us realize that what we see isn’t meant to depict a reality but rather a fantasy. Due to this technique it keeps playing with the audience’s expectations.
The film is a curiosity, however, it gets slightly tedious. The novelty wears off somewhere half way down the movie and the second part which seems to be in contrast to the first seems lengthy. As we only see the part of the world that related to love and companionship the ideas are finite and it would be nice if the movie could undergo a director’s cut.
Having said all that it’s nice to see something different. The movie touches upon important issues such as what is love (baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more), is being in a relationship always better than being single and whether governments should be allowed to decide about private lives. It’s a good watch that I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys cinema that explores new horizons.
Now to you, Dear Rinser… Is having a partner always better than not having one? What’s love based on and are there any rules of who with one falls in love?