Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Lobster

Movie Name: The Lobster
Year of Release: 2015
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Stars: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, John C. Reilly, Olivia Colman, Jessica Barden, Angeliki Papoulia, Michael Smiley, Emma O'Shea, Garry Mountaine
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

"The Lobster" debuted at the Cannes Film Festival of 2015 and won the Jury Prize. The film follows the story of David, a man whose wife has left him for another person. In this dystopian society, once you are single, you get sent to a hotel where you have 45 days to find another partner, or you get transformed into an animal of your choice. The way they can extend their stay at the hotel, is by hunting Loners, people who choose to live in the forrest, listen to electronica and generally avoid contact. David fakes who he is, in order to start a relationship, but that soon gets discovered, which forces him to run to the woods, and become part of the Loners. Once there, he meets someone he actually cares for, but that's not without challenges.
Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos has made a name for himself in the Festival circuit with the features "Dogtooth" and "Alps", features that have relied on unique concepts to develop their stories. "The Lobster" is another of those cases: the film features a unique concept of single people having to meet a mate, so they can avoid being transformed into an animal. The film is an interesting metaphor for how people forcibly become something else to avoid being alone. It's a film stylized in terms of acting and approach, bordering on performance art, which nonetheless is at times very funny, and also very bleak, in how it depicts human condition and relationships. Colin Farrell is perfect as David, giving the character a sadness that comes across in his physical posture, which translates as back problems. He is the true heart of the film, with Rachel Weisz, Ben Wishaw, John C. Reilly and Olivia Colman, all doing great supporting work. It's an interesting film, featuring an interesting concept, but the premise isn't enough to hold the film engaging since it starts flailing as it runs towards its bleak closure.