James Canellos ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Executive Movies Editor
The promise of finding a mate and being happy has been fueling any businesses or organizations that claim they can help you find your match. In the modern day websites/ apps like match.com, christian mingle and even tinder bringing strangers closer to making the once in a lifetime connections that they’ve been seeking. Now, imagine instead of searching for that special someone online, we lived in a society that took single people to a hotel and forced them to either find a suitable companion or be transformed into an animal after forty-five days. Yorgos Lanthimos’ extremely dark comedy, The Lobster is the director’s perfect fit to break into English speaking films.
The anxiety of settling down and finding your soulmate is no easy task, let alone one that must be completed within a forty-five day period in a hotel that feels more like a lavish prison. This bland hotel that lacks genuine romance has a new addition named David (Colin Farrell), a well behaved man with a monotone voice who needs to find a new wife after his previous one left him. Each day feels more and more uncomfortable as David and his acquaintances (Ben Whishaw and John C. Reilly) try to find their a new love. As his time gets lower and lower, David eventually becomes entranced by a woman (Rachel Weisz) and begins to establish feelings for her.
What makes The Lobster so unique is its satirical take on the pressures put on people to find a spouse while you’re still in your prime. Each interaction feels like two awkward middle schoolers trying to flirt for the first time. The most hysterical aspect is just how far these characters are willing to go to force themselves to be compatible with someone. The process of mining what each person has in common and assuming that they must be a perfect match becomes a sick way of categorizing everyone into distinct groups and writing off anyone who doesn’t meet the same standards. This kind of false advertising leads to a lot of the film’s biggest laughs as David and others try to force their way into marriage.
In a day and age where love is marketed and made out to be the best thing in the world, it’s refreshing to see Lanthimos take a stance on how finding that perfect someone can feel like a you’re competing in The Hunger Games. This vision of a dystopian future is one of the most original scripts of the year, every animal roaming around becomes a great, yet tragic sight gag that reminds everyone that this can be them after forty-five days. Much like Lanthimos’ Academy Award nominated film Dogtooth, The Lobster is not for everyone- by any means, but it should feel relatable to anyone who has felt too invested in changing their relationship status.
Even as the story continues and David begins to fall for this woman, the tone of Lanthimos’ world never feels compromised. Despite how uncomfortable this world can be, David and the woman’s relationship mirrors The Lobster as a film. It’s strange and awkward but it’s one of the most authentic and unique films of the year.
Overall Grade: A
Watch The Trailer: