Movie: The Lobster
My Rating: 3 stars
This is a very strange movie. It almost a little too odd to be able to describe accurately. It’s a story about a mandatory trip to a resort that everyone in this society must make. They are required to find their mate there over the weekend. Anyone who fails to pair off by the end of their stay will be turned into the animal of their choosing. It’s a bizarre concept, but fairly straightforward. But, it’s hard to accurately convey the tone of the story to someone who hasn’t just watched a little bit of it. Somehow, the surreal atmosphere of the film makes all of those strange statements seem absolutely reasonable within the context of the dystopia it creates. Of course, all of this serves as a social or political commentary on the roles we are expected to play in society, and the value it places on being single versus being paired off in a stable relationship—especially since the society in this story doesn’t place any emphasis at all on a couple’s compatibility. They just want to see you good and married. All of it is very relevant to our modern worries and preoccupations.
Viewers of this film follow around Colin Farrell as he arrives at the resort and tries to find a woman to share his life with. It almost doesn’t matter who any of the guests end up choosing, as long as they convince someone to sign up for couplehood. You can feel the anxiety rising for guests who have been there for a few days but who have been striking out with every potential match. Some of them resort to pretty desperate measures to ensure that they don’t trot out of the place as a miniature pony. And, you can see guests’ standards for a romantic partner start to lower the longer they’ve been there. But, they aren’t nearly as desperate as the few folks who have made the gamble of opting out of the system entirely—the “singles.” These singles live out in the woods and constantly live in fear of being hunted down and killed as societal nuisances by the resort staff.
This is a very weird movie. It’s hard to know just who I’d feel comfortable recommending it to. It’s really only for a very limited audience. But, it’s a movie that I actually find myself thinking about a lot more often than I would have thought. It’s definitely got some strong thematic legs to stand on. And, the imagery is just haunting enough to plague your dreams. I think this movie is for the art house set—people who like weird, depressing movies as long as they have a unique message and are executed competently. And, this movie has got both of those things going for it. So, check this one out the next time you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path.