The Lobster - This Movie Rocks The Weird - In A Good Way
Dir: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Ben Wishaw, Lea Seydoux, Olivia Colman, John C Reilly, Ashley Jensen
The Lobster opens with a woman driving through the rain, who then stops, gets out of her car, walks up to a grazing horse, shoots it dead, and then gets back in the car. No idea why – it might well be a former husband. But that’s the charm of Lanthimos’ bizarre slice of absurdity and the modern relationship.
It is some kind of near-future dystopia where being single is outlawed. Farrell – with deeply dodgy moustache – has just been dumped so, as are the rules of this world, he must report to The Hotel, where one has 45 days to find the perfect mate or be turned into the animal of your choice (he has chosen the titular lobster.) Here he meets the likes of John C. Reilly who gets his hand stuck in a toaster by a nasty Olivia Colman for having a wank, Ben Wishaw who constantly bangs his face on the table so he can hook up with a young woman with a propensity for nosebleeds, and Ashley Jensen throwing herself out of the windows, before escaping to the forest to live amongst the outlaw loners, who are in turn hunted and shot by those seeking coupling.
It’s all rather strange, a world that clearly has rules but which initially are at times almost impenetrable. But slowly, Lanthimos creates a style and mood that starts to seduce you, abandon rationale and go with the flow and The Lobster starts to work.
It has a deadpan approach that renders all the performances pedantically paced and distant, but which does therefore make them – and this world – cohesive. Some of it is very funny, some of it feels too slow for its own good. It’s a confounding piece, but a defiantly original one.
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