A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: Yorgos Lanthimos
Produced By: Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Yorgos Lanthimos, Lee Magiday
Written By: Efthimis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Colin Farrell, John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux
Running Time: 118 Minutes
Perhaps it was the uncomfortable silences, the insufferably awkward dialogue or even the extended takes that purposefully stayed slightly past their welcome; whatever it was, numerous factors amalgamated to make The Lobster completely unwatchable for a second time, at least any time soon. However that’s precisely the point.
Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ romantic comedy is anything but conventional, in fact it is one of the strangest, most confronting films to emerge from 2015.
Taking the obscure and absurd to bold and audacious new places, The Lobster is set in an alternate future/dimension/world where single people are taken to a hotel and given 48 days to find the their true love. Should they fail to find love in this time, they shall be transformed into an animal of their choice as a consequence.
David (Colin Farrell) has recently broken up with his partner and travels to the hotel where he encounters various singles, all of whom appear to be as immeasurably weird as he is.
Focusing on a metaphorical approach between human and animal relationships, characteristics and comparability, even with a peppering of authoritarianism and oppression, The Lobster has a distinctive tone that is constant and stagnant, transcending through the equally dull and strange characters of the picture.
The subtle, but outrageous humour within the film is exhibited through numerous styles and methods. The primary source of laughs stems from the superb performances of the cast, whose mantra is mundanity and nothing more.
The splashings of amusement also come from the ironic score that is mostly made up of the same off-putting chord thrice repeated in a rather threatening manner, or even just a an animal simple walking through the background of a frame.
Amid a strange conversation scene, one can expect to see a camel, pig or even flamingo stroll past, adding an enormous amount to the picture. The idiosyncratic nature of the cast also creates diversity and uniqueness within the humour, most notably David’s suspicious, wandering eyes.
Constantly looking to his extreme right or left, he looks as if something is bothering him, creating intrigue about the character in the process.
The script is one of the cleverest pieces of writing to emerge from 2015, simply because of how it tackles the completely ludicrous narrative at hand. Approaching it with a perfect balance of self-awareness and daring courage, the script transitions splendidly across to the screen, allowing for some ridiculously pointless pieces of dialogue to be spoken by ridiculously robotic characters.
Looking back over the cast list, the characters do not possess names, rather character traits to distinguish them. Lisping Man, Short Sighted Woman, Loner Swimmer, Heartless Woman and Limping Man make up some of the characteristic-based people, all of whom appear to have been hurt by something or someone in the past.
John C. Reilly and Ben Whishaw play a pair of excellent supporting characters and fellow singles looking love. Comedically attuned and without an iota of emotion between them, their characters delve into two primary focal points within the film; compatibility and sacrifice in the name of love.
The choices and journeys of these two characters, as well as the many other associates of David not only serve as an addition to the world, but David himself.
The same can be said for Léa Seydoux and Rachael Weisz’ characters, both of whom join David during the later portion of the film which is also where the story begins to ever so slightly lose momentum.
A whimsical, weird and whacky comedy with aspects of gore and grotesque imagery thrown into the mix, The Lobster is a wonderful blend of genres and styles that combine to make one of the most unique, uncomfortable and perplexing pictures of the year.
Leaving the audience with a strange, desolate and affronted feeling, this is one for the fans of quirkier, more ridiculous and darker comedies that are not afraid to push the boundaries.