If you don’t find a partner, you’ll be turned into an animal. That’s the core plot point of the new film from director Yorgos Lanthimos titled The Lobster. Colin Farrell plays a man who has just lost his wife and is sent by the authorities to a hotel that acts as a singles retreat. Once there, he becomes part of a government system where citizens must be engaged in a relationship or else they are transformed into the animal of their choosing. Most people choose to become dogs.
The Lobster is a somber drama that occasionally delves into absurdist humor. It is a strange blend of dystopian science fiction mixed with an emotional story of loss and uncertainty, and the film is full of excellent performances from its cast. Colin Farrell is compelling as lead character David, and Rachel Weisz’s role at the love interest David meets later in the film is a fantastic portrayal of sincere hope and sorrow.
David arrives at “The Hotel” and learns that he has six weeks to find a life partner. When asked what animal he would like to become if he does not meet anyone, his choice is a lobster because he loves the sea and they are always fertile. This begins a journey that finds David desperately attempting anything to find a partner and stay human. When one of his efforts backfires miserably, he uncovers a society of rebel loners who reject the system. Themes of love, acceptance, deception, loss, rejection and manipulation are all explored in this existential romantic satire.
The Lobster is a film that has a lot to say about relationships and society, but also proposes many thought provoking questions about its content and view of humanity. The story, written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Fillipou, deals with difficult issues that reflect on how people connect with and function around others. The amazing ensemble cast including Olivia Colman, John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux, Angeliki Papoulia, Michael Smiley and Ashley Jensen bring this complex tale to life. The Lobster may rub some people the wrong way, but for those that are interested, it absolutely worth analyzing, studying and enjoying.