Dir.: Yorgos Lanthimos
To quote the late, great Courage the Cowardly Dog, “Oh the things I do for love.” This movie delves deep into what it means to seek love and companionship. The movie is very stylized, at times almost feeling like a Wes Anderson movie but without all of the pastels. There is also a narration through the movie that I feel works very well to keep me interested in the story of it all.
Following the death of his wife, David(Colin Farrell) is checked into a hotel in which you are to fall in love or be turned into an animal. You are allotted 45 days to do this but you can increase your days by shooting and catching “loners”. Loners are basically people who refuse to conform to the rules set by their society about relationships.
The movie is very set on the issue of relationships. Their society essentially forces you to be in a relationship. This is hammered home in many ways, most notably the silly acted out scenes of a man eating alone or a woman walking alone. They use silly over-dramatizations to get their point across.
While in the hotel David makes two friends, John C. Reilly and Ben Whishaw, addressed as the Lisping Man and the Limping Man respectively. These friends aren’t crucial to the story but they do add a lot to the tone of the movie in terms of comedy and conflict. While the comedy isn’t silly or boisterous, it is definitely there and very affective. There were two stand out scenes that note this: The first being the scene where the Lisping Man is punished for masturbating, and the second is when David meets the Limping Man’s child(she is roughly 8 or 9) and the kid offers him a kiss. “The last thing I want right now is a kiss from a silly little girl.” He then kicks her in the shin. This scene was so absurd and yet it fit the dull tone of the movie so well.
The story progresses with David forcing a relationship so that he doesn’t get turned into an animal. This is clearly something he fears. He soon learns and makes evident that it is much harder to force feelings that are not there than to get rid of feelings that are. This line becomes important as the story progresses.
David decides that he cannot be with this woman and runs away from the hotel where he joins the loners. They have strict rules about not flirting or dating as a loner. This becomes a problem as he quickly falls in love. This marks a shift in the movie. As David learns the difference between companionship and love, we feel everything that he is feeling. I genuinely felt for David. I wanted things to work out. Without spoiling what happens at the end, we see David’s love tested. We feel the intensity of the decisions he must make for love.
I absolutely loved this movie. Though he was so dull, I felt so connected to David and everything he was feeling. The message that the writer was trying to get across was tackled so beautifully as well. I would recommend this movie to all of you.
I am giving The Lobster a loving 8.75/10.