Don’t take this as a sign that I disliked The Lobster, but what the fuck was this movie?
Not only is there a ludicrous high concept, but the entire thing is a sick joke about the societal pressures of coupling up and romantic entanglements. The whole thing alternates between deadpan, blacker-than-midnight humor and an uncomfortably twisted sense of danger. I’m not sure if the entire thing works, or if it eventually collapses under the strain of its own artistic reach, but The Lobster had me enraptured with its strangeness and perversity for the entire duration.
The Lobster’s wild concept comes roaring out the gate as a woman angrily shoots a goat, who I guess was an ex or something at one point? Anyway, we then meet David (Colin Farrell) as he checks into a hotel, where he will be turned into an animal after 45 days if he doesn’t’ make a love connection. The Lobster gets its title from David’s choice of what animal he would like to become, and I hesitate to reveal more of the plot. It’s original and wild, and trying to summarize it won’t make it any clearer or less hallucinatory.
In-between the oddities and stiff acting choices, The Lobster is something of a forbidden love story when it’s all said and done. David eventually meets an unnamed woman (Rachel Weisz), this unnamed woman is also the narrator of the piece. We overhear her thoughts as she writes in her diary, and one presumes that these two will eventually have a happy ending given some of the language used and the open-ended shot of the film. Maybe I’m just a bit of a romantic at heart, once you get past the layers and layers of snark and defensive humor.
At times The Lobster can feel like it is eating its own tail, repeatedly. As the story delves into its own hermetically sealed strangeness, so does the film becomes something a closed eco-system. It won’t engender widespread audience participation and sympathy, and The Lobster will prove divisive, but there’s just something provocative and wild about it that I enjoyed.