Pin It
Favorite

Change Up 

Despite its insane premise, The Lobster maintains its charm

click to enlarge Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz in The Lobster.
  • Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz in The Lobster.

Consider The Lobster, the latest salvo from Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, and his first English-language feature. Much like his home-school nightmare Dogtooth, The Lobster presents a very controlled, mannered universe in which the set of rules are firmly in place. The theme here is love, or more specifically, couplehood, and with a surgeon's precision, Lanthimos cuts to the heart of contemporary courtship.

We are dropped into a pristine, bleak dystopia, one in which being single is outlawed. We meet David (Colin Farrell, appropriately sad-sack), whose wife has left him for another. In Lanthimos' world, single people are shipped off to a hotel resort, where they have 45 days to find a compatible partner. If they fail, they will be turned into the animal of their choice.

David's choice is the titular crustacean, his reasoning being that they live for a hundred years and remain fertile throughout. The premise seems absurd, but once the film's rules are in place, it offers up wonderfully devious meditations on just how oppressive and confounding modern romance can be.

Everyone defines him or herself by one characteristic (in David's case, he's short-sighted; John C. Reilly's character has a lisp, Ben Whishaw's a limp), with the hope of finding someone with the same compatible trait. In the supremely regimented structure of the resort, guests are given tranquilizer guns to shoot the marginal "loners" in the forest, and bagging a single person is rewarded with an extension of one's stay at the resort.

It is a brilliantly dark allegory that Lanthimos sustains for most of the film, faltering a little in the third act when David flees the hotel to live with the loners, who are under the leadership of Léa Seydoux. But overall, The Lobster packs a wicked punch, eviscerating modern romance in surprising and evocative ways. ♦

Trailer


The Lobster
Rated R · 118 minutes · 2016
Official Site: www.thelobster-movie.com
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Producer: Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Ceci Dempsey, Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrew Lowe, Tessa Ross and Sam Lavender
Cast: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux, John Reilly, Olivia Colman, Ben Whishaw, Ariane Labed, Angeliki Papoulia, Ashley Jensen, Michael Smiley and Jessica Barden

Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for The Lobster

Tags: ,

  • Pin It

Latest in Film

  • Real Disaster
  • Real Disaster

    Deepwater Horizon feels trapped between tragic facts and genre conventions
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • The Kids Aren't Alright
  • The Kids Aren't Alright

    Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children can't quite strike the balance between whimsy and darkness
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • Enemy No. 1
  • Enemy No. 1

    Oliver Stone's Snowden doesn't break new ground but is still a thrill ride
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Tops, Super Sparkle

Tops, Super Sparkle @ The Observatory

Sat., Oct. 1, 9 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

or

More by Josh Kupecki

  • Spy Games
  • Spy Games

    Central Intelligence isn't the silly popcorn flick you were waiting for this summer
    • Jun 23, 2016
  • Running Free
  • Running Free

    The Oscar-nominated Mustang is a gripping, wild tale
    • Jan 21, 2016
  • Don't Forget
  • Don't Forget

    Labyrinth of Lies tells how Germans brought ex-Nazis to justice after the war
    • Jan 14, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Feminist First

    Through her music, Dolly Parton has always shown women how to stay strong
    • Sep 15, 2016
  • Art of the Deal

    Local indie labels offer artists another marketing option, but not everyone is convinced they're necessary
    • Sep 1, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

COUNTRY


Readers also liked…

  • Where Are the Women?
  • Where Are the Women?

    A critic's year-long deep dive into the way movies portray half of humanity
    • May 12, 2016
  • Behind the Music
  • Behind the Music

    The Grammy Awards are about much more than what you see on TV
    • Feb 11, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation