“In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.”
The Lobster was a film that was under my radar and I was excited about streaming it because it received critical acclaim. I’m always looking forward to these experiences because I love being surprised from movies I haven’t been aware of throughout the year. From the trailer, The Lobster seemed like it was going to be a unique dark comedy and I had to be ready to keep an open mind when watching this type of film. Unfortunately, I was disappointed, but there were some things I loved. Let’s get started!
The story hooked me right away with the idea of these people being forced to find significant others in this hotel or else they’ll be turned to animals. The film was a satire on the structure of relationships which I’ve never seen before. I thought the obstacles that were presented between the main characters were fantastic and sparked an odd romance. My main issue with the story was how it was presented, I thought it was dull due to its pacing and style. Imagine a Wes Anderson film without the bright colors, subtle hilarity, colorful wardrobe, and elaborate sets…that’s what The Lobster looked and felt like.
I will admit, I appreciated the use of natural light and minimal make-up to give a sense of realism. I was willing to stick around to see the conclusion because I had the patience, but it felt like an unnecessary ambiguous ending left to my interpretation which I did not care enough for. This film is not for everyone and will take a certain amount of tolerance to actually finish from beginning to end, it’s an acquired taste.
The cast was terrific. The director was able to masterfully direct his actors enough to engage them with this specific tone and style perfectly. The standout performance to me was Colin Farrell because he looked and felt like a different character when it came to his speech and mannerisms. I believed he was this character in a dystopian future seeking love after being dumped and his desperation to find new romance was shown very well. I think he’s an extremely underrated actor.
Rachel Weisz is one of the most underrated actresses working today. She’s fantastic in anything she’s in, including here where she seamlessly plays an enigmatic character. Although she didn’t have any backstory, she had to nail the anti-poetic sounding narration down along with also fitting into this universe while being mysterious simultaneously.
To me, great cinematography is when the visuals are contributing to the storytelling. A film should SHOW us what’s going on rather than tell us. When it comes to analyzing cinematography, simply, I ask myself, “Was this film nice to look at?” Then I can choose to get in depth and look for whether colors were symbolic, placement of characters in the frame, composition, lighting, shadows, and point of view.
Was the Lobster a nice film to look at, yes and no. I loved the placements for the camera shot which told me how the characters were feeling, I just didn’t like the color palette that was used, but the color palette was the perfect choice to use to give off the melancholic atmosphere.
Look, you can’t go wrong with Beethoven. I thought the music was one of the highlights of this film. It was eerie and beautiful at the same time. Just like “a Lobster is an excellent choice,” the orchestral pieces were an EXCELLENT choice to use.
The themes were my favorite aspects of the film that were presented throughout. To me, one of the greatest things that life has to offer is being able to choose a partner and share life with one another in harmony. Even though many individuals have disputes and struggle to keep that peace, I feel the concept of committing to keep that genuine love and sustaining it for a lifetime is a beautiful thing to reach for.
The entire movie is about relationships and how we as a people live almost sheep-like as we follow orders. I definitely thought about that and I completely agree because there are people who adopt ideologies without even questioning them. Rules are prescribed to us both productively and negatively, one of those rules being that relationships are seen as mandated requirements to be happy. With that message ,the question I thought about when the movie ended is how does one live originally and individually with these rules set in place within society? Can people be civilized without rules?
Another theme I noticed was narcissism. The idea that people choosing other people based on them being the exact same is a narcissistic approach in relationships. We always see examples of that, especially with internet dating, people share their similar interests and meet due to their comfortability with themselves. It really just depends on the person because if they seek someone who is opposite to them than it can mean they just want to expand their philosophies and experiences.
Last theme I noticed was love. There’s a weird romance between these characters that felt very original and that was because of their tremendous obstacles that kept preventing them from being together. Obstacles can get in the way of relationships in even the smallest circumstances in real life, it’s the ability to stay strong and work through it together productively to keep loving each other that makes a romance authentic and powerful. If you are scared to be alone, then that should not be a core foundation as to why you are with someone.
I would not recommend The Lobster to general movie audiences because like I mentioned before, this is an acquired taste. You have to be prepared to watch a slow burn with a gloomy ambiance. I wasn’t entertained with this movie completely, only with the interesting outlook on relationships and the organization of our “civilized” rules. For the most part, I was bored. I thought the music, tone, performances, messages, and cinematography were great. Thank you so much for reading my review and I hope you love the movie! My rating for The Lobster is 7.5/10.