If there’s anything I love, it’s a good weird movie. Something with a totally ridiculous plot or premise that somehow, despite the many odds, actually works. It seems like there are more and more strange, high-concept movies coming out but they rarely have the follow-through that I’m looking for. “The Lobster,” however, does.
“The Lobster,” directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, is set in an alternate world where people who are found to still be single by a certain age must stay at “The Hotel,” where they have 45 days to find a match. If they don’t find a match in 45 days, they will be given a second chance to find love, but as the animal of their choice.
Yup. If they don’t find love they get turned into animals. Like I said, weird. But good weird.
There are a couple ways for people to extend their stay at The Hotel. If they match with someone (and by match, I mean share a specific quality, like a good singing voice or a limp) they will then be moved into a double room with that match. If the relationship continues to be successful, they will then be moved onto a boat with that person. If they survive the time on the boat and still want to be together, they will be able to go back to the city as a couple. Another way is to hunt down “loners,” or single people who ran away from The Hotel and live in the woods, with tranquilizer guns so that they can be turned into animals. Every caught loner adds another day to one’s stay. Again, weeeird.
We primarily follow David (played by Colin Farrell in a very un-Colin-Farrell-like role) and his experiences both in and around The Hotel. He arrives with his brother (a previous visitor who was turned into a dog) after a failed relationship and sets out to find someone new. If he fails, he decides he wants to be turned into, you guessed it, a lobster. Throughout the film we meet some of the other visitors to The Hotel (played by John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, Ashley Jensen and Angeliki Papoulia) as well as some of the loners living out in the woods (played by Lea Seydoux and Rachel Weisz).
The plot of the movie is certainly weird but the way the movie is done also contributes to the weirdness, although it all somehow works. Everyone in the movie speaks in a very monotone voice, with a certain slow pacing and cadence that, while intriguing, could also at times be a bit tiring, especially for someone (*cough* me *cough*) who hadn’t exactly gotten a good night’s sleep before seeing the movie. It took a little while at the beginning for me to truly become invested in what was happening, but once I was in, I was very in. Despite the slow pacing, the movie was very engrossing. It pulls you in and keeps you wondering what will happen next, no matter if it takes two minutes or two hours to get there.
I won’t tell you what ends up happening to David (what would be the fun in that?) but I will tell you that the end is a bit sudden and will leave you with more questions than answers. I liked that though. I think I have a thing for movies that end with some level of uncertainly because I like being able to form my own opinions about what happened. It’s a way to keep the story alive even after the viewer has left the theater.
Overall “The Lobster” is definitely not a movie for everyone. The strange premise alone would certainly turn a few people off and the pacing and tone of the movie could leave others bored. However, if you love a good weird movie as much as I do, “The Lobster” is definitely worth checking out.
Have you seen “The Lobster”? Have any other good weird movies that you love? Think I need to come up with better pictures for my blog posts? Me too, dear reader. Me too… In the meantime…