The phrase “You’ve never seen anything like it” is almost never true. Originality is rare, plus, how dare someone assume that about you, right? Well, that’s how weird The Lobster is. We feel totally comfortable making the assumption. You’ve never seen anything like it.
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth), The Lobster stars Colin Farrell as David, a man who has just split with his wife in an odd, kind of alternate reality that’s never explained. Because David is now single, he checks into a hotel where, if he doesn’t find a suitable mate in the next 45 days, he’ll be turned into an animal. In David’s case, a lobster.
I don’t mean figuratively either. I mean literally, the hotel has a room where they take people who fail at their mission and they’re turned into animals. The film suggests all the world’s animals are people who couldn’t find a mate. And things just get weirder and weirder from there.
The entire film is played straight. Too straight. Scary straight. The cold expressions and dialogue delivered by every character beg for your laughter, as the story continues to raise the absurdity levels. At the start, the film explains why it’s so important for human beings to have a mate. Later, it shows the opposite viewpoint, a place where solitude is prized. These two worlds are somewhat at war with each other, and they get linked by David’s story.
The supporting cast includes Ben Whishaw, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly and Lea Seydoux, each of whom are just as creepy and hilarious in buying into this bizarre world as Farrell. However, the question becomes, what is The Lobster trying to say? What is this world? Where did it come from? As the film ends, you’re left with tons of fascinating questions, as well as just the pure joy of having seen something crazy original and weird.
The Lobster opens in limited release this week.
Note: Portions of this article are from an earlier piece that ran in September 2015.