Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writers : Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthymis Filippou
The premise of The Lobster, once revealed, is totally banana's, but it's surreal elements are used to perfectly satirise the ridiculousness of relationships, the lengths that people go to start them, and what they'll do to stay in them.
In the world of The Lobster, single people are not just socially ostracised, they are completely outlawed. Newly single people have to find a partner within forty five days or they are turned into an animal. The small mercy is that you get to choose which one - best if you don't choose a dog though, everyone chooses dog's, that's why there are so many of them around. David (a fleshy Colin Farrell) has recently been dumped by his wife and has chosen to be turned into a Lobster, "because they live for a hundred years" if he is not successful. If he chooses not to conform, he would have to go on the run and live as a loner in the wilderness. Normal society does not want loners.
The Lobster pits the single people and partnered people at opposite sides of a war. The Loners are literally hunted like wild animals and they in return run guerilla operations exposing the hypocrisy of the people in relationships and break couples up by releasing truth grenades that cannot be recovered from. Both sides of the social divide are run by tyrannical leaders, enforcing their world view with extreme acts of violence and humiliation for those who break the rules.
When David checks into the Hotel to begin his forty-five days countdown to meet a partner, everyone he meets has some sort of affliction. There's a limper, a lisper and even a nosebleeder. David himself wears glasses and seeks a partner who is similarly short-sighted. As the days shrink and he sees those around him partner up, he knows what he has to do. If you can't make it, fake it and he pretends to fall in love. Despite the horrible consequences, he maintains his lie for as long as he can.
Initially you may think the stilted dialogue and odd narration may be a consequence of this being Lanthimos's first English language film, but as things develop it's clear that this is by design, with everyone at a level of deadpan that would make Steven Wright get the giggles.
This is dark, dry comedy at it's best, but there are no pauses for laughs here. You get the feeling that the filmamker isn't sure if you will get it, and probably doesn't care if you don't. He has constructed the story so expertly, releasing details that leave you alternately curious as to what is going on, or on edge over what will happen next, that the jokes aren't the most important thing anyway. You care about the characters and at the end are left wondering if love really is blind.
A Must See