If you go on the website for The Lobster, it has a wonderfully clever way of introducing you to the film, as well as what the film is all about. As soon as you enter the site, it will ask you a series of questions that will determine what second-chance animal you should pick if you do not find love. At the end of the brief quiz, you will be given three choices based on your answers. From there, you have to pick one, and that’s the animal you have to turn into if you do not find the right mate in forty-five days. From there, you can have a second-chance at love as a dog, cat, fish, flamingo, or whatever. My three animals I ended up with was a bison, gorilla, and horse. Of which one I decided to turn into, that is for you to find out.
This strange consideration of our sex life perfectly sums up everything talked about in the European satirical drama, The Lobster, with a call to revision on how an aristocratic society controls our path to satisfaction with a significant other.
What’s shocking is that this dystopian world does not look far off from where we are now. Considering our high expectations surrounding sexual preference and gender roles, filmmakers in Europe knew that it was time to make a psychodrama like this to depict how our revision of sexual stimulation will change in the next few years.
Within this future, we are put in the shoes of David, a loner abandoned by his wife who has become numb over time to light and noise. In fact, neither he nor anyone else in his life show any hint of feeling at all. A calming narration by a mystery woman tells about how he is left to live in a hospital with restricting rules: he can’t keep any of his personal belongings, he must wear one of their identical change of clothes, and within his forty-five day stay there, he must find love with another woman, or be turned into the animal of his choosing. In this case, he chose a lobster for its long lifespan. Whoever the narrator of this story is meant to be, by the film‘s final moments, the cruciality of the voice’s identity will become clear.
In this unsettling world, change for healthy relationships is initiated as they teach the men that they must be dependent on a lover, and the women are taught how their safety is dependent on a man. The staff even goes as far as punishing secret masturbators with a toaster to the hand. If there are any loners hiding out in the moss-infested woods nearby, they are captured by patients with tranquilizer darts and sent to the well-maintained seaside hospital.
The surreal nature of this motion picture feels complete with a disruptive baroque musical, creating a haunting beat you will never remove from your memory. It evokes the lack of apparent fear, making the peacocks and camels seen wandering the woods feel expectant. The only change of thought the characters ever express is when a brother-turned-dog meets an unfortunate fate, and a girl’s failed suicide attempt. It turns out though that creating a world without feeling generates all sorts of challenges for even the greatest of cinema artists.
While the characters certainly don’t feel much, neither does the audience. A motion picture like this one ought to show master over orchestrating the audience to feel what the character’s don’t, which The Lobster does not fully succeed at. It gets harder to keep up with everything as well with the second half, when everything becomes practically a different type of movie with new characters and a new setting.
But it doesn’t make The Lobster any less brilliant in its call to reconsideration of our own emotions. Director Yorgos Lanthimos makes it plainly clear how animals these days have a healthier concept of romance than we people do, as the turnaround of one man chained by unnecessary rules speaks to us.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
The Lobster. A24. Web. <http://thelobster-movie.com/>.
The Lobster. Digital image. O Cinema. Web. <http://www.o-cinema.org/event/the-lobster/>.