The Lobster

"A wickedly funny, unexpectedly moving satire of couple-fixated society." - Variety

“Greek writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos, whose first three films, including Oscar-nominee Dogtooth, have raised a cult following around the world, makes a practically effortless transition to the big leagues with his latest, the hilarious and haunting surreal parable The Lobster.

“A near-future-set tale about a world where citizens must choose a mate or be turned into animals, this marks Lanthimos’ first film in English, his first with major international stars and his first Cannes-competition contender. The result is a richly rewarding but often very disturbing work, with a cast that have clearly embraced the chance to go dark, make-up free, and explore a different sort of method.

“When we first meet David, he’s just a slightly overweight everyman with glasses who’s just been dumped by his wife. That’s unfortunate because it means he has to report to a residential center where he must find a new life partner in 45 days or submit to zoological conversion, a fate briskly laid out by the hotel manager. At least one has a choice of what animal one will be turned into, and David chooses lobster, because he likes the sea.

“With its self-contained world run by absurd, but rigidly observed laws, the first half of the film is strongly reminiscent of Lanthimos’ Dogtooth. The residents only know each other by their room numbers or their “defining characteristic,” hence David’s new friends are called, in both dialogue and the end credits, “Lisping Man” (John C. Reilly) and “Limping Man" (Ben Whishaw). Like users of online dating sites, they fixate on finding similar characteristics in prospective mates.

“Delivering their best deadpans, Lanthimos and the cast work all this up in a fine froth of absurdist comedy as alliances are forged and broken, and prospective couples are consoled that if there’s any marital disharmony, they can be given children to fix that.  Thankfully, a romantic spark is allowed to add some emotional warmth to second act when David meets Rachel Weisz.

“There’s no simple takeaway message at the end of this elegantly appointed, bureaucratic but distinctly fascistic dystopia that’s not so far off how we live now. - The Hollywood Reporter


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