“The Lobster” Review

16 December, 2015

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Screenwriters: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Director of Photography: Thimios Bakatakis
Cast: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly

Synopsis: The bizarre story of a man who is sent to live with a group of nameless singletons in a hotel where people are ordered to find their perfect romantic match in 45 days or they will be turned into an animal of their choice.

The Lobster Review:

Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos has certainly made a lasting impression on the European art-house market these past few years. Up until recently his controversial films “Dogtooth” and “Alps” were still dividing audiences but the release of “The Lobster” has seen a profoundly positive response across the board. In spite of the language switch and the grand string score, it’s apparent from the get-go that Lanthimos’ latest feature is still very much a part of his warped cinematic universe.

The film follows the weird and wonderful story of a singleton named David who must navigate a hotel whilst on a casual quest to find the perfect partner. Finding himself helplessly hit by state and societal subjugation, David tries his best to survive but finds it impossible to detach himself from his natural dispositions. Despite the unquestionable genius that comes with the film’s pro-coupling propaganda, the movie creates a divide between its ideas and characters as David seeks solace with an equally oppressive group of escapees. Although originality is Lanthimos’ biggest strength and his co-written screenplay is rich with a number of whacky concepts, “The Lobster” takes awkward interaction to the extreme with scene after scene of static shots and rigid settings.

By refusing to break away from his trademark detached style, Lanthimos’ monotone register is detrimental to the effect of his overall message. His characters are as cold as they are naïve and yet everything about them feels impenetrable behind their blank stares. A smile is not a smile in “The Lobster,” and it often shields a tear as the unreadable actors become a barrier between compassion and empathy.

“The Lobster” runs with a much more complex and universal metaphor than Lanthimos’ previous films, addressing a multitude of concepts relating to fear as his characters frequently choose to lie or reject their nature in favour of survival. Featuring one of the most disturbing suicide attempts in recent memory, the movie is a disquieting art piece presented through the harsh eyes of a hard line filmmaker. Only Yorgos Lanthimos could create a film that’ll have you screaming with apprehension when a couple share their first kiss and “The Lobster” certainly packs a punch, even in its softest moments.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
The Lobster
Rating
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