The Lobster Review
I was flipping through Netflix the other night desperately trying to find a quality movie to watch (the problem with too many choices) when I stumbled on The Lobster. I remember seeing a decent trailer for it a while back, and given the lack of options, I pressed play.
I was thoroughly impressed. The Lobster is based on a very strange premise that humans are better as compatible pairs, and for the unlucky ones who cannot find a match, they‘re turned into animals with the hope of finding a partner in that alternative world.
It sounds like something a twisted 12-year-old would come up with for an english writing assignment but the movie was very well executed. It mixes in deadpan humour and expansive cinematography to keep the audience engaged. However, due to the odd material premise and uncomfortable dialogue, The Lobster is definitely for a niche market.
The movie stars Colin Farrell as the unlucky in love loner who commits himself to a loner rehabilitation hotel. The facility admits people who have a hard time finding a partner. Through daily activities provided, they’re all given a 45-day clock to find a mate from within the hotel, after which the guests will be turned into an animal of their choosing. When asked about his choice, Colin chooses to be turned into a Lobster because they live over one hundred years, have aristocratic-like blue blood, and is fertile throughout their entire lives. Epic rationalization.
The film highlights this idea of turning somebody into an animal as commonplace and everyone accepts the logic behind it – it is better to be coupled up as an animal than to ride solo. The pressure this alternate universe presses on its inhabitants mirrors the quiet judgemental aspects of our own society. Cultures outside North America have teen and arranged marriages as commonplace. In these cultures marriage is the endgame and older adults who aren‘t hooked up carry with them negative judgement from their peers. During my trip to Vietnam, I was constantly harrassed about my own marital status and how odd it is to be in a long term relationship without an idea of marriage. I was reminded that success in life is about education -> career -> marriage -> children in exactly that order. I wonder how I‘d feel approaching 30 without a potential mate in thse societies. I‘d probably want to be turned into a Lobster as well.
I found myself laughing out loud many times throughout the movie and I can‘t help but draw parallels between the effects and diologue of this movie and the style of Wes Anderson. I‘d describe it as a cross between Napoleon Dynamitee, The Grand Budapest hotel and something from Tim Burton. Overall this is one of the best movies I‘ve seen in the past year and if you can get past the, at times, stomach-turning-twisted-grotesque material, you‘ll be rewarded with a very unique and engaging film.