The Lobster – *** OUT OF 4
Director-Screenwriter Yorgos Lanthmos has created an absurdist masterwork in the tradition of Eugene Ionesco with his first English language film. Lanthmos has an award-winning history at Cannes with his second feature “Dogtooth” capturing the Un Certain Regard back in 2009.”The Lobster” won the Jury Prize in 2015.
The film creates a distinctive dystopian world that has a comedic undertone. The big premise is a future where being single is a crime of sorts. Colin Farrell is featured as David, a freshly divorced man who must deal with this circumstance. He is dispatched to a hotel where he has 45 days to find a mate or be turned into an animal. Those victims who fall under the jurisdiction of the state get to choose which animal to become. The title of the film explains David’s choice.
David’s search ultimately leads to the “loners” who are militant outcasts(led by a character played by Lea Seydoux) who live in a forest and are hunted by hotel guests much in a manner akin to “big-game” hunting. Although the loners prohibit intimate relationships, David becomes romantically involved with a short sighted woman who is performed by Rachel Weisz
“The Lobster” is a unique experience replete with humor, pathos and insecurity among its multi-faceted insights into desperation and loneliness. It drags us into a deeply satirical world that posits society as a right- wing emotional construct. This Greek/French co-production exhibits high production values. Its running time of about two hours is just about right and, yes, you must be willing to read subtitles. Its ironic conclusion brings closure to the viewing experience.