This is the most original movie I’ve seen in years.
The Lobster is the brainchild of writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos. He is best known for his 2009 movie Dogtooth, which received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film.
Colin Farrell stars as David, a man who finds himself suddenly single early on when his wife tells him there is another man. Being single is a dangerous thing, as we soon find out. This is a dystopian world very much like the modern day, except single people are forced to live in a strange hotel where they have 45 days to find another mate. If they fail, they are turned into animals and released into the woods.
When is the last time you heard a premise so strange and original? It’s also darkly comedic, which is why Colin Farrell is a perfect casting choice. He’s an excellent serious actor who has also appeared in outright comedies, and here he plays the part of David completely straight with brilliant comedic effect. There is a scene in which a friend introduces his daughter, and David’s reaction is unexpected and darkly hilarious.
Rachel Weisz plays a woman David takes an interest in, and from the moment they meet until the end of the movie, their relationship is both literally and metaphorically an exchange of symbols that illustrate the various postures and ceremonies that inevitably come with romance.
The movie itself is an allegory about relationships. Every bizarre scene, every bit of unusual dialogue has a purpose. It’s impossible to share my interpretation of these and various parts of the movie without giving away the plot, but when the movie is over and you think about it, all that strangeness tells a story that is actually very traditional. The moral seems to be that, for better or worse, love is blind.