I agree with Peter Bradshaw when he writes that The Lobster (2015) “appears to run out of idea’s at its mid point” It’s a film of two halves the first holds your attention but the second half can not be accused of the same. The films turning point comes when the main character escapes the confines of the hotel and joins the loners in the woods. This dark dystopian satire is the work of Greek born Yorgos Lanthimos who has directed and produced some of the most atypical but enjoyable movies of the last few years including the chilling fairy tale Dogtooth in 2009 which deservedly won the Prix Un Certain Regard at 2009’s Cannes Film Festival, the strangely watchable Alps in 2011 and also worked as co producer on the appealing Attenberg (2010) one of Movie Rambles most blogged movies. As is quite normal with films that involve Lanthimos the synopsis makes strange reading….
|Sexual relief can only be administered by the Maid.|
It’s the present, we are somewhere in a mysterious Europe country. David’s (Colin Farrell) wife has left him and we find him in a hotel where the rules state that if you don’t find a compatible ‘mate’ within 45 days you will be turned into an animal of your choice, in David’s case a lobster. David is there with his brother who has previously been turned into a dog. The Hotel Manager (Olivia Colman) sets the rules and they must be obeyed. Sexual relief by masturbation is not allowed but sexual stimulation by the hotel Maid (Ariane Labed) is. Dances are arranged so that partners can be viewed but to form a qualifying partnership with someone you must have something in common with each other. Everyone can extend their stay affording extra time to find a partner by hunting and tranquilizing escapees known as Loners who live in the nearby woods. David decides to escape from the hotel and join the band of Loners lead by Loner Leader (Lea Seydoux). Here in the woods the rules are different. Above all they must remain single, romance and sex in any form is not allowed. Deviation from the rules is punishable by violence.
|....before joining the Loners and disobeying their rules.|
You would certainly have to see the film to understand Lanthimos’s script and even then the movie probable requires more than a single viewing to fully understand the intricacies of this strangely hypnotic story. The film has a great cast list, as well as these already mentioned it includes Rachel Weisz as the Short Sighted Woman, the lovely Jessica Barden as the Nosebleed Woman, Ben Whishaw as the Limping Man and old friend of Movie Ramble Michael Smiley as Loner Swimmer. Of all the films involving Yorgos Lanthimos that I have seen this is not his best work, interesting but not quite up there with his previous movies. It’s a real shame that the second half of the film was not as good as the first or it could have been one of his best outings.