- on Friday, 12 August 2016 20:16
- by Loron Hays
There’s never been a love story as twisted and as unique as The Lobster. Set in the near future, the cold and distant world of director Yorgos Lanthimos’s first English-language feature is a bizarrely fascinating one. It is a chilling universe where the comedy is as dark as the macabre. And his dedication to present that world as a living and breathing thing is to be commended. As is his cast – which includes an almost unrecognizable (and overweight) Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz – who bring their best to the screenplay by Efthymis Filippou.
It opens with the horrific murder of a donkey; three bullets to the skull by a woman in a long coat. She then gets back in her car and drives away. No explanation is given. Cut then to the story of David. His wife has left him for another man – one with better vision. Ultimately, he knows what this means. You see, in this future version of our own world, if you aren’t a couple, you aren’t anything and all single people are rounded up, placed in a hotel with other singles, and – if you can’t find a mate at the end of 45 days – you are turned into an animal of your choice.
David’s brother has been turned into a dog. He’s with David during his stay at the hotel and is always whimpering. David, who loves the sea, chooses – if he doesn’t find a mate – to be turned into a lobster. But if the bizarre rules and regulations of the hotel – no masturbating even though the maid gives you a mandatory lap dance, stopping right at the highest point of excitement– don’t kill him, then the other guests – especially the females – will. They are literally throwing themselves at David … but he isn’t taking the bait - that is until he feels the pressure and settles on the coldest one of the group.
It is a decision that will lead him to take extreme measures and, ultimately, out in the wild as a loner where the real danger lurks. And to think that, at this point in the narrative, this tale of our own absurdities is only beginning…
The Lobster is an ambitious film and its ambiguity lends itself to multiple interpretations. The world in David’s universe might sound foreign but it is much closer to ours than one would think. The pressure these loners feel about HAVING to make connections with other human beings is pretty much what we do to the single people of the world. Why aren’t you with someone? You deserve it. What’s wrong with you? When examined under the microscope – which is exactly what Flippou and Lanthimos do – the pressure is ludicrous. And is best exemplified by the world they’ve built with their film.
And this couple-fixated world you and I live in is a faulty one. Meaning it is ripe for this satirical examination. The Lobster maintains its purpose and keeps locked on its target unto the last second. It is disturbing. It is twisted. It is also scathingly comical. Much of its shoot – especially the scenes amongst the loners out in nature – remind me of Woody Allen’s Sleeper, another couple-minded satire. Only Lanthimos’s film is more haunting than it is comical. And, considering this co-stars John C. Reilly, that’s saying quite a bit about the film’s overall affect.
The Lobster is more than a meal; it is cinematic chocolate with richness in spirit and form that it never once betrays.
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content including dialogue, and some violence
Runtime: 119 mins
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writer: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Cast: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden
Genre: Drama | Comedy
Tagline: An unconventional love story by Yorgos Lanthimos
Memorable Movie Quote: "If you encounter any problems you cannot resolve yourselves, you will be assigned children, that usually helps."
Official Site: http://thelobster-movie.com/
Release Date: May 13, 2016
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: August 2, 2016
Synopsis: A love story set in a dystopian near future where single people are arrested and transferred to a creepy hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal and released into the woods.
Available on Blu-ray - August 2, 2016.
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH; Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD-50); UV digital copy; Digital copy
Region Encoding: A
The AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.84:1 – released by Lionsgate and A24 – is an inspired release. It’s gorgeous in its Ireland setting and, as it is divided between the hotel and nature, strikes a nice balance between the real and the artificial. Cinematographer Thimios Bakatakismake has definitely made the most of this naturally lit shoot. His shots are composed most tastefully: with color-drained shots of scenic locales and strong details throughout. The picture is very vivid and the locales are crisp. Black levels are strong throughout. The 5.1 DTS-HD master audio soundtrack is agreeable and makes the most of ambient sounds.
There is only one. While it is a bit better than the normal making-of supplement, the fact that there is only one is a bit of a disappointment. Everyone is involved and they all have awesome things to say about the movie and its meaning. You will enjoy it if you liked the movie.
- The Fabric of Attraction: Concocting The Lobster (23 min)