Love means never having to turn into a snappy- clawed crustacean.
released 16 october
15 | 118 minutes
Director Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux, John C Reilly, Ben Whishaw, Ariane Labed
As science fiction fans we’re used to weird worlds and strange tales, but believe us when we tell you that The Lobster is really weird. Imagine if George Orwell and Franz Kafka co- wrote a satire of modern dating culture and you’re in the right ball park.
Colin Farrell stars as bulbousbellied singleton David. In The Lobster’s parallel present only couples are allowed to live in The City, while single folk are shipped off to The Hotel, where they’re given 45 days to find the perfect partner or face being transformed into an animal of their choosing ( David’s is a lobster, of course). To buy more time The Hotel’s residents can hunt Loners, who live in the surrounding woods illegally and have committed to a life without relationships. But just like everyone else, The Loners are bound by their own authoritarian rules and regulations.
Played for deadpan laughs, The Lobster is riotously funny despite some hauntingly horrific twists and turns. Director Yorgos Lanthimos, making his English language debut, shines an absurdist spotlight on relationship ideals, skewering society’s couple fixation. In this world a single, seemingly insignificant shared characteristic ( such as the tendency to have nosebleeds) is valued above all else. This idea is flipped on its head in the woods, where anyone who can’t keep their hands to themselves faces brutal repercussions. It’s here that David falls for Rachel Weisz’s similarly short- sighted woman.
Farrell is great value as David, a sad- sack romantic in a world gone mad, while The Hotel’s lovelorn residents ( among them Ben Whishaw and John C Reilly), Olivia Colman’s mad hotel manager and Léa Seydoux’s uncompromising Loner leader all offer memorable supporting turns. The humour won’t be to everyone’s taste and there’s no denying that the film overstays its welcome, but The Lobster proves an entertaining and peculiar dystopian drama – a dish everyone should try once. Jordan Farley
David is the only named character. Everyone else goes by the likes of “Biscuit Woman” and “Lisping Man”.
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