Movie Review: The Lobster (2015)

Title: The Lobster
Year: 2015
Runtime: 179 mins
Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy, Sci-fi
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writers: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Starring: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux
Official Website | Trailer

Synopsis from IMDb:
In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.

 

The Lobster is an amazing dystopian movie. It is intellectual and succeeds in provoking the audience’s thoughts about love, freedom, and power.

The movie starts with a man named David checking into The Hotel after divorce. He brings along his brother, who was turned into a dog after his failed attempt at The Hotel, to this place where he will try to find a mate in 45 days or be turned into an animal if he fails. There he befriends the Limping Man, and the Lisping Man, who are also checked into The Hotel to find their partners. Near David’s end of his stay at The Hotel, something goes wrong and forces him into fleeing into The Woods and finding The Loners.

I must say that this movie reminds me of the book series Delirium by Lauren Oliver and Matched by Ally Condie. The City in The Lobster is a world where it forces you to stay in a relationship to survive, even if it is with someone you do not love. This absence of freedom over love is the same concept seen in the two book series, and The Loners in The Woods is similar to Delirium’s The Wilds.

The movie also reflects some characteristics of the stages of love in real life. First, the traits we look for when we find a partner. Is it attractiveness in appearance? Is it similarity in our interests? The events in the movie are just exaggerations of what people do when they try to impress a desired person. Second, building a family. In the movie, when a couple encounters problems in The Hotel, they are assigned children to resolve the problems. Is having children a solution to problems in marriage? This is also an ironic idea presented in the film. Third, the promises we make to our mate. When something bad happens to our partner, will we stay with them? The most important question is: Can love conquer all?

The Lobster also talks about power. (The following part contains spoilers.) The freedom of choice over love is taken away in The City, but it is also taken away in The Woods. The Loners are forbidden to fall in love with one another, and if they are caught, they will be punished. In fact, The Loners are no better than the authorities in The City. They both control their followers by taking away their freedom, and in return providing safety and food, which are basic needs of humans. (End of spoilers.)

To conclude, if you’d like to watch a movie that exercises your brain with symbolism and dystopian ideas, go watch The Lobster. If you’re a fan of Delirium and/or Matched, go watch The Lobster. Just go watch it.

Rating: 3.5/5

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