• Review: The Lobster (2016)

    From Mark R. Leeper@21:1/5 to All on Wed Jun 8 00:10:58 2016
    (a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

    [WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD: This review tells some of the rules of
    the strange world the story is set in.]

    CAPSULE: This is an absurdist comedy drama that drops
    the viewer in a world where people who are single have
    a limited time to find a mate or they have to be turned
    into an animal, but at least into a species of their
    choice. I know--that makes no sense. But the freedom
    to not make sense is the core of the story's style.
    Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star in the intriguing
    look at the importance of having a spouse in our society.
    Rating: high +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

    BEING JOHN MALKOVICH (1999) was a very original film. In the first
    half hour or so the Charlie Kaufman's script introduced three or so
    really off-the-wall changes to reality and then the film just
    played out with those strange ideas. At the time it seemed odd
    that these weird ideas could unapologetically be presented without
    being explained or justified. THE LOBSTER takes the same approach
    of throwing in absurdist premises but they never stop raining down.
    While the world setting looks deceptively like our world, the
    viewer is never allowed to feel he/she really understands what is
    going on. Strange ideas just keep being added to the mix.

    David, a nebbish played by Colin Ferrell, is facing the trial of
    his life. He has gone to a hotel where single adults are sent to
    find a mate among the other people searching. If a person fails to
    find a life-partner by a fixed deadline he is turned into an
    animal, but an animal of his choice. The person who finds a
    partner must show that the partner will have something enough in
    common with the chosen mate, even if the similarity is something
    like that each has frequent nosebleeds. Some of this may be
    speculation, since the rules are mostly communicated by viewer
    deduction. These are people depersonalized by the entire
    situation. Most are given no names but a characteristic they have.
    Leading characters include the limping man (Ben Whishaw, best-known
    as Q), the lisping man (John C. Reilly), and the heartless woman
    (Angeliki Papoulia). There is some hope. Out in the forest there
    is a counter-movement of Loners who have banded together, contrary
    to their name. There the narrator of the first half of the film
    incarnates as the near-sighted woman (Rachel Weisz).

    This may sound strange, but many of the rules of dating and finding
    a mate are very recognizable. Every day we see people desperate to
    find a mate. This film of a foreign yet occasionally familiar
    world was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos based on a script he co-
    wrote with Efthymis Filippou. This is their first English language

    One obvious problem is the camerawork. Perhaps it is intended to
    be disorienting, but shots are incorrectly framed. People appear
    in the frame only up to the shoulders or only one side of the body.
    Somehow the film loses some of its initial joy of discovery when
    the novelty of new strange concepts wears off a little. I hope we
    hear more from Lanthimos. I rate THE LOBSTER a high +2 on the -4
    to +4 scale or 8/10.

    Film Credits: <http://www.imdb.com/find?s=tt&q=lobster>

    What others are saying: <http://tinyurl.com/void-rt-lobster>

    Mark R. Leeper
    Copyright 2016 Mark R. Leeper

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