Film Review: The Lobster (2015)

The Lobster is a film featuring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, and John C. Reilly. It is a film that is hard to explain, and even harder pigeonhole into one genre: it contains elements of drama, thriller, and romance, but the genre it most closely resembles is dark comedy.

The film takes place in a near-future dystopian setting in which everyone is required to be in a committed relationship. Singles are sent to a hotel where they have 45 days to find a mate, or they will be transformed into the animal of their choice. The film centers around David, a man who is all alone after a failed marriage, as he tries to navigate awkward courting rituals at the hotel before he is turned into a lobster.

The Lobster is full of twists, turns, and convoluted plot points that some viewers may not like. There are also elements of the absurd in the film that I think are intentionally confusing, such as non-sequiturs, nonsensical dialogue, and long shots that seem to overstay their welcome. There are only 3 characters with names in the film; the rest are identified by their traits or roles. The ending of the film raises many more questions than it answers, which is simultaneously tasteful and frustrating. Depending on your perspective, the film has a lot to say or absolutely nothing at all.

In spite of its downfalls, The Lobster is one of the most entertaining films I have seen this year—I don’t usually watch films more than once, and I have seen this one three times. There were plenty of scenes that made me laugh, some that made me uneasy, and some that were genuinely touching. The ambiguity of the film leaves plenty of room for thematic analysis. Perhaps the film is criticizing our society’s obsession with monogamous relationships and our willingness to sacrifice individuality to conform to be better partners, or perhaps it means nothing at all – either way, it’s worth watching.

Have you seen The Lobster? If so, what did you think?

– DJ Mango