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Monday, July 11, 2016

The Lobster Review

This Lobster Doesn't Require Butter



Can you handle a truly weird one? I'm not talking sort-of weird. I'm talking alternate universe kind of weird. "The Lobster" is the first English-language film from Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos and if this is any indication of what is to come from him, it's worth paying attention to whatever else follows.


David (Colin Farrell) is incredibly mild-mannered with a flat effect. He is somewhere between apprehensive and catatonic, when we first see him in The Hotel. David is in The Hotel because his wife recently had an affair and left him. People must go to The Hotel when they are single. Why that is, is never made entirely clear.

What we do know is that when you are sent to The Hotel you have 45 days to find a mate there among those that have also been sent there for the same reason. If 45 days pass before you find a partner, you will be transformed into the animal of your choice. Residents make their choice upon check-in. David elected to become a lobster because he says that they live a long time and procreate quite a bit. The weirdest part of it all is how normal all of this seems to the people involved.





David is accompanied by his dog when he checks in. The dog was once his brother, but since he had once similarly lost a mate and could not find another one, he now lives as a dog. By now, it should be apparent just how bizarre "The Lobster" is, unless the same thing once happened to you.


If you are lucky enough to find love at The Hotel, you and your new partner are honored with a ceremony. However, for the following two weeks, you are spied upon to ensure that this new partnership is legitimate. If you pass the test, you are released back into society. If you don't pass, you are immediately transformed into your chosen animal.

There are many other things going on that are equally odd, such as the group of singles that wander the nearby forest, but this is mostly about a society that exists with the most bizarre of parameters. The entire cast is excellent, with a truly special performance by Colin Farrell and a nice supporting role by John C. Reilly. If you're a fan of the offbeat, "The Lobster" may be the best catch of the year.


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