Friday, March 18, 2016

'The Lobster' Is a Weird Metaphor

Though The Lobster debuted in the Cannes and has already been released in some European countries in 2015, I will count it as a 2016 film since it has only been widely released this year.

The movie is set in a near dystopian future in which singles are sent to a Hotel, and is required to fall in love and find a romantic partner during their stay within 45 days.  Additional days are rewarded to them by hunting down Loners, singles who refuse to stay in the Hotel and are against romantic coupling, dwelling in the nearby woods.  If they fail to find a partner once their time is up, they are transformed into animals.

The story centers on David (Colin Farrell), a man whose wife recently left him for another man, as he attempts to survive in this macabre culture.  Mild spoilers: the title of the movie is “The Lobster” because David prefers to be turned into a lobster if he fails to find a partner.

I’m split on what I feel about this movie.  I do appreciate its novel premise and its layers of intriguing science fiction drama; visceral horror; and quite funny, dry dark comedy.  In addition, the acting, direction, and cinematography are also good; as a movie production, it’s a well-made one.  However, I don’t think I truly grasped what merits this movie is offering – and I don’t care enough to actually want to.

If anything else, The Lobster is weird and original.  And, indeed, it definitely serves as a metaphor for something.  Probably the absurdness of forcing people to choose between two extremes, with no middle ground or compromise.  Or it could be lampooning modern dating norms.  I don’t know.  It would require more dedicated, more interested minds than mine to thoroughly analyze this film.     

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