It’s hard to tell anyone who hasn’t seen Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster, exactly what to expect from the film. If you have seen Lanthimos’s previous film Dogtooth, you will know you’re in the same ballpark, but anyone else is bound to walk out of the film, bewildered over what they have just seen.
The Lobster is the third film from Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos and his English language debut. It is also a very strange, always bizarre and at times, surreal dark comedy.
Set in a world dystopian future where single people, according to the laws of the city, are taken to a hotel, off the coast of Ireland, 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 follows the story of David (Colin Farrell), a recently divorced Architect, is given forty days to do the same thing, but when David’s days start running out, he decides to feign common interest with a heartless woman in order to escape his fate.
The Lobster is quite simply, a bizarre and utterly bewildering film. It’s a dark comedy, an even darker satire on society and a film that provokes thought while also leaving you saying, ‘’what the fuck did I just see?’’
The film’s strength lies in Lanthimos’s sharp screenplay. It isn’t just the unique characters or the exceedingly batshit crazy story he’s able to craft, but also the profound questions this film asks about society and relationships in general. When the comedy does come you aren’t sure whether to laugh or be ashamed at yourself for laughing. The characters that inhabit Lanthimos’s world are cold, cold human beings, almost devoid of emotion and the brilliant deadpan performances from Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz and Ben Whinshaw reflect this in the most perfect way possible. Colin Farrell, in particular, is really great as the protagonist David.
It’s also a film that has the tendency to be quite disturbing at times which just makes it all the more unique.
Altogether, The Lobster is a bizarre and exceedingly ambitious effort from Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos. It’s a film that in my opinion, deserves to be digested over multiple viewings, but no matter how many times you watch it, the richness, the absurdity or strangeness never fade away.