First Hit: A strange, different and odd film about forced coupledom.
This film is set in the near future and everyone in society must be coupled or face going to an oddly sterile hotel where they have 45 days to find a mate. If they don’t find a mate they will be turned into the animal of their choice. They can extend their time by hunting down and shooting and tranquilizing others who are escaping. If they are lucky enough to find a mate they can live in a couple’s room, then a yacht for a couple weeks, and if successful they can return to the city as a couple.
Upon entering the hotel, they are given a strict protocol to live by, including no masturbation, along with deciding the animal they want to be turned into if they don’t find a mate; hence the film’s title “The Lobster”. This is the type of animal David (Colin Farrell) selects.
There are some macabre scenes (like the punishment for masturbating), amazingly darkly funny scenes (shooting range practice scene), and simply weird scenes (how do the loners survive in the forest day after day). One of the traits in choosing their possible partner is the sharing physical or mental aspects like; shortsightedness, or limps, or lisps, or cold-heartedness, or the love of biscuits.
Another odd part about this film is that it portrays everyone being so subservient to people who’ve placed themselves in authority. How everyone minds the hotel managers (Olivia Colman and Garry Mountaine) is really bizarre because I would have probably rebelled.
Even more perplexing was how the escapees (“Loners”) minded the direction and instructions of Loner Leader (Lea Seydoux). I kept wondering who empowered these people in this way? Why did others follow their instructions?
The cast of characters in this story were really oddly interesting as well: Nosebleed Woman (Jessica Barden), Biscuit Woman (Ashely Jensen), Lisping Man (John C. Reilly), Short Sighted Woman (Rachel Weisz), Limping Man (Ben Whishaw), and Heartless Woman (Angeliki Papoulia) among others.
Farrell did a terrific job with his character. He gained so much weight for this role which seemed to also affect his natural intensity. Seydoux was clearly strong as the leader of the Loners. She was very commanding. Reilly was funny as the lisping man who got caught masturbating. Weisz was wonderful as the Short Sighted Loner who loved to eat rabbits and was the narrator of this film. Papoulia was very good as the Heartless person. Barden was amazingly sweet as the Nosebleed person. Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippu wrote this strangely effective script even though it was filled with obvious logical holes. Lanthimos did a great job of getting the actors and scenes to coalesce and wonderfully execute this story and idea.
Overall: The film was very entertaining most of the time, yet the holes in the story kept my mind wandering and asking questions while the celluloid rolled.