If you’ve been following this site, then you would have known that The Lobster has already been reviewed on this site. For a deeper analysis, I recommend you read Matthew St. Clair’s earlier review. I won’t be doing a full on review per se but since it is a big film, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on it. I will say that I did not like it as much as he did.
I missed this one a few times when it was at the theatres but it’s been on Canadian Netflix for a while so I’m not sure why I hadn’t seen it until now. Since it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, now seemed like a better time than any. The nomination was definitely well deserved as there hasn’t been anything quite like this in a while and there might not be anything like it in a long time. Similar to Swiss Army Man, another film deserving of a Best Original Screenplay nomination, this one was out there but Swiss Army Man was a little too juvenile which was probably why it wasn’t nominated.
This was a very weird film and for those who may not know, it takes place in a dystopian future where single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods. The film followed a man named David (Colin Farrell) as he arrives at The Hotel. There he meets new friends known as the Lisping Man (John C. Reilly) and the Limping Man (Ben Whishaw).
David finds a partner but leaves the Hotel after a freak incident. He later ends up in The Woods where people known as the Loners live. The Loners were allowed to live their lives on their own but they could not be romantically involved. Once there, David falls for a woman known as the Short Sighted Woman (Rachel Weisz). They wanted to move from the the Woods to the city to make a life for themselves. That was easier said than done as they had to deal with the leader of the Loners (Léa Seydoux).
The story was dark in how it hammers its message about the importance of relationships and kind of speaks to the pressure which society places on us to find companions. With the dystopian setting came a lot of dark humor which worked for the most part but a lot of it just felt like weird for the sake of being weird. Because of that, it was hard to sometimes tell where things were going or to get a read on the characters, making it hard to invest in them on an emotional level.
Even though it takes place in the future, the film was very grounded in how it dealt with its characters. The first half of the film, where David was in the hotel, was much more compelling with the film slightly falling apart during the second half, where most of the weirdness was. The ending was surprisingly abrupt which didn’t make much sense. The actors should be commended as they fully commit to the material with Colin Farrell giving one of his best performances.
Overall, this was an original film that brought on the weird, which may turn some people off but in being so weird, the story and the characters suffered as a result.
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