By Darin Skaggs
Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster is a story about love, but this is not your regular type of romantic movie. There is no big moment where the couple runs into each other’s arms after the big fight, nor is there the meet cute. It does keep the basic cliché beats of a regular romantic comedy, just hidden inside an unconventional movie. The Lobster is a cynical, honest look at real life love. It explores every experience one could have in a relationship like loneliness, being with someone you don’t like and restrictions put on what could be a perfect relationship. All of this is explored in a strange, beautiful, funny science fiction story.
The sci-fi here is on a light scale, there is no laser battle or space travel. The movie takes our reality and builds a whole array of oddities and quirks. When we meet our main character David (Colin Farrell) he is being taken by the police to this hotel. At this hotel where you are given 45 days to fall in love with fellow customers or you will be turned into an animal. There are many strange aspects added to this film like the hotel patrons being able to go hunting from time to time and shoot the people in the wilderness and the amount of people they get with the tranquilizer darts they get the same amount of days added to their stay. The weirdness keeps up throughout the whole film, and it is brilliant. It all works so well. All of this weirdness does not stop it from being the romantic story it needs to tell.
The story goes through all the steps that every other love story does. He has a few buddies he meets in the hotel. There is a limping loner (Ben Whishaw) and a peculiar lisper (John C. Reilly). He also has his brother along with him, but he is once resided in the hotel and is now a dog. Their actions and words influence David to make his decisions. His failed dates that would show up in other romantic comedies are there but are more depressing especially the relationship he pretends to have with the women who is said to have no heart. Eventually he finds someone, but cannot be with her like he wants. The story is quite depressing, but also very funny. The man with the limp tells his story as they do during orientation and tells a whole story about his parents, which would explain why he is alone, then goes on to say his wife died only a few days ago. It is shocking, sad and hilarious. The whole film pulls off the uncomfortable comedy all the way through. If you love weird, have a dark sense of humor and have an ounce of pessimism in you then The Lobster is a film worth checking out.