The Lobster **1/2 out of 4 stars
starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly
directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
If you’re familiar with the unusual take on the world director Yorgos Lanthimos creates in his films (Alps, Dogtooth), the premise of his latest trip into the bizarro, The Lobster, continues down that rabbit-hole, sometimes resulting in overwhelming confusion, especially when the plot gets lost. The trip is worth the try, however.
Let me explain. In a near future, there are laws established where single people are taken to a hotel and given a last chance to find a significant other. But if they don’t in forty-five days, they’re fucked, in this case meaning they are turned into an animal of their choice, and then sent off to the woods to be hunted and ultimately killed, scenes of which unfold in ferocious slow-motion.
Still with me? Lucky for us, we have actors like Colin Farrell to led us into the fray, who gives a hilariously blank-faced performance as David, a stayer at the hotel, who has decided to become a Lobster if he does not meet his true love. Hey, Lobsters stay fertile for a life-time. And for the film’s mesmerizing first hour, Lanthimos and Farrell bring on the laughs and shape the one-of-a-kind, unusual atmosphere the film creates. But with the help of an annoying, almost useless voice over by Rachel Weisz, who later shows up as “The Short Sighted Woman”, the film starts tripping up, before going kabloey in it’s second half, when after a set of rather dark circumstances force David to leave the hotel and live in the woods, with what seems to be a group of rebels who don’t have sex and only listen to electronic music. Later, Farrell and the Oscar-winning Weisz engage in a romance, which ends in their sense of sight ultimately getting lost for the sake of compatibility.
Yeah, it’s a lot to take in. And the approach Yorgos Lanthimos takes by trying to make the audience see the film from it’s characters eyes, is short sighted, and a miss. But for their ambitious vision, engrossing images, and countless-awkward laughs alone, Lanthimos and Farrell create an experimental dazzler that keeps you glued to the screen.