When David’s wife leaves him for another man, he’s immediately arrested and taken to a correctional facility (a “hotel”) where he’s given 45 days to meet another suitable mate. Failure to do so will result in transformation into an animal of his choosing (in David’s case, a lobster), and release into the wild. This is the bizarre fate that awaits all single people in Yorgos Lanthimos’ dystopian science-fiction romantic comedy, the wonderfully absurd The Lobster. Though the premise of the story is truly original, there is a distinct Orwellian streak running through the film.
David (Colin Farrell) eventually manages to escape the “hotel”, and joins the loners: a small community of single people living in hiding in the forest, where they are systematically hunted by the hotel “guests”. David finds temporary solace in this company of rebels.
However, new dangers arise when he falls in love with a short-sighted fellow Loner (Rachel Weisz) because they forbid any sort of romantic attachment. Be warned: Lanthimos does not shy away from a little carnage here and there; there is more than one disturbing image in this film.
The Lobster satirises the stigma that is often attached to being single nowadays, playing on the innate human fear of loneliness. Added to this is a very dry, dark sense of humour, which reinforces the underlying tongue-in-cheek attitude of the film. That said, there is nothing especially funny about The Lobster’s story as none of the possible outcomes are particularly hopeful.
An expertly selected soundtrack adds charm and playfulness to this macabre futuristic fantasy, as does the the characters’ somewhat awkward, contrived manner, which is reminiscent of a Wes Anderson production, albeit darker, and more perverse.
The Lobster does not yet have a UK release date.
Watch a clip of The Lobster here: