The Lobster Review

 Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 12.08.31 PM
Lanthimos’s latest is honestly one of weirdest things I’ve ever seen, set in awkward conversations, distinguishing traits, and a believable dystopia, The Lobster is a singular look at the societal pressures of dating, marrying, and establishing a partner with smart commentary about human traits layered throughout the film. The dystopian setting suggested by the film is presented perfectly, proving Lanthimos to be some sort of crazy genius when it comes world-building because as we traverse through the uniquely distinct areas of this world you never feel lost and it all feel like it fits way too perfectly with each other, establishing the faults of a perfectly functioning society much like what George Lucas was able to do in THX 1138. From the way people converse with each other to the singular personality everyone has, The Lobster simplifies its characters so you’re able to concentrate on this off-putting society to the point that barely any names are given to characters and everyone is titled based on their characteristics or positions, everyone put David (Farrell) which we are obligated to follow along on his journey through the various settings of the dystopia since he’s the only being with a name, the only real person we can relate too. Though everyone is reduced to a single characteristic trait, every single amazing actor that belongs to this great ensemble does an amazing job personifying their small character description, whether this be Ben Whishaw as The Limping Man, Ashley Jensen as Biscuit Woman or Angeliki Papoulia who does an amazing job as literal embodiment of The Heartless Woman. As for those awkward conversations I mentioned earlier, though one might associate them with the fact that this is Lanthimos’s first film to be in the English language, it also seems to work for the setting of the film itself, establishing the formatted society these characters roam in, everyone’s way too honest and direct when they speak too each other as they go into absurd detail behind everything that goes through their mind, or so you think, because when the narrator comes in to describe the thoughts, actions and emotions are character is thinking, feeling, or doing they don’t always correspond with the incredibly specific things he’s talking with the individual next to him. As for the narrator, she’s completely useless to the film and almost feels like the narrator from Bastion decided to single out people and describe them even though they can speak and express themselves, yet it all feels natural to the way Lanthimos built his odd little world. As I watched the film I was trying to pin it down to something I’d watched before, I thought of Ayoade’s The Double and THX 1138, but honestly this is one of the most unique visions I’ve seen portrayed on screen, it might traverse those same subjects that The Double and THX 1138 explored but Lanthimos’s presentation is so original and singular to his senses the film feels like an otherworldly representation of  someone studying the way humans felt feelings surrounding the establishment of relationships and the pressure that comes along having to chose a partner by a certain age or time in your life. That being said, The Lobster did feel to go on a bit too long and way too abstract at times, feeling like an elongated bad trip, yet due to its smart remarks on the norms of  society when it comes to dating, The Lobster transcends its niche genre of abstract weirdness and becomes a smart cautionary tale regarding what relationship-building and human-simplification could become, leading me to rate the film with a 75 out of 100.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s