When I first saw the premise of “The Lobster,” I thought it sounded absolutely absurd – single people are put into a hotel and given 45 days to find a partner and if they fail, they are turned into an animal of their choice. I had almost no hope for the movie, thinking even an all-star cast wouldn’t be able to make it work.
Thankfully, I was proven so very, very wrong. “The Lobster” is one of the best movies I’ve seen in quite a long time. Taking place in a dystopian England, society has evolved to a point where being single is against the law. Those out and about in public by themselves are stopped by police and investigated, answering questions and furnishing their certificate of marriage.
Awkwardness is a defining characteristic of this film. Almost every interaction characters have is stilted and unnatural, expressiveness and confidence is almost nowhere to be seen and even the narration lacks flow.
Unlike other movies where awkwardness is a byproduct of bad acting or a bad script, the strange, almost inhuman interactions are completely intentional and add a fantastic feel to the movie.
A byproduct of the awkwardness is the inherent humor in what should be an otherwise humorless movie. Instead of a self-aware comedy where jokes have the subtlety of a rampaging elephant in heat, the viewer is left to wonder if the humor was intentional on the part of the script or is instead an indicator of how absurd the whole film is.
The casting for “The Lobster” really enhances the overall feel of the movie. Colin Farrell is almost always cast as a suave heart-throb, the sort of person that makes women swoon and men envious. To see him as a mousy, nervous, bookish individual who couldn’t pick up a cardboard box – much less a mate – was tremendous and I have far more respect for him as an actor than I did before. Rachel Weisz is a near-perfect counterpart, as awkward and stilted as Farrell’s character but unique and distinct enough in her own way to set her apart.
Another aspect that really stood out to me was the music. With slow, classical music sounding almost like a funeral dirge, a sense of unease is maintained throughout what otherwise would be relatively benign scenes. The score doesn’t overtly stand out on its own but simply does its own thing, waiting to be noticed – the mark of a truly good soundtrack.
While I generally look at movies on a more superficial level and prefer not to get caught up in tedious hidden meanings and symbolism, “The Lobster” is incredibly thought provoking without being pretentious.
With themes of loneliness, the pressure society puts on us to have companionship and how people see themselves in relationships, the film unmistakably is a commentary on certain aspects of society today. To be able to resonate so much with modern-day life in a setting so subtly alien and disconnected from reality is truly masterful.
Every aspect of “The Lobster” is complete and cultivated into near-perfection. The music, the sets, the cast, there is nothing missing to the film. A true masterpiece, it’s no surprise “The Lobster” is winning awards left and right at film festivals around the world.
I truly cannot recommend this movie enough to anybody who gets the opportunity to see it.