The Lobster

The Lobster poster

The Lobster movie poster

Amusing, disturbing and quite surreal, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster is a very singular work delivering an incisive portrait of a totalitarian society. Supported by a cold, meticulous direction and subtle performances, Mr. Lanthimos’ work clearly takes a stand against normality, both surprising and frightening spectators.

The movie is set in a rehabilitation center for bachelors located in a grand hotel. During their stay, patients are allocated a certain time to find their soul mate and, in case of failure, they will be turned into the animal of their choice. They can however extend their stay by taking part in hunting parties and capturing animals, which of course happen to be ex-patients.

With this absurd setup, Lanthimos aims at describing a world where individuals are simple mechanisms used by a society which doesn’t accept failure or contestation. Unsurprisingly, The Lobster is filled with glacial humor, something Scandinavian cinema specialized in – Roy Andersson’s Songs from the Second Floor comes to mind –, with plenty of absurd situations and perplexing dialogues. Colin Farrell particularly shines as a lonely man forced to submit to society’s strange rules, before discovering what’s hiding behind all this. This is however where Mr. Lanthimos’ movie loses momentum.

Following a strong first half describing how the “system” works, the script then takes us behind the scenes, revealing a less polished reflection of the world we just left. We head to the forest, joining the ranks of the rejects and while they certainly enjoy their freedom, we quickly realize that they follow rules that are as unjust and totalitarian. This is where the premise suddenly falls flat, stating the obvious before culminating with an open ending that hardly hides the screenwriters’ incapacity to conclude this story.

Despite this weak second act, The Lobster is still able to leave us with powerful images and a sense of fun discomfort which leads to several interpretations. With its brilliant direction making you somewhat overlook its less convincing script, Mr. Lanthimos’ movie proves to be a daring, defiant work.

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos – Actors: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz –
Running Time: 1:58 – Year: 2015 – Country: Ireland
Click here to watch The Lobster trailer
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Moland Fengkov

Moland Fengkov

Based in Paris, Moland is a journalist and photographer; He is more particularly responsible for covering the Cannes film festival for Plume Noire, writing movie reviews and taking gorgeous pictures.
Moland Fengkov

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