The Lobster. An off-beat comedy. A dark comedy. Too dark. I cannot recommend seeing this, I’ll explain why in the review.
I love interesting and original ideas. The Lobster certainly delivers that.
Colin Farrell plays a newly single man who goes to a virtual concentration camp for singles. If you don’t find a mate at this workshop, you are turned into the animal of your choice, such as a Lobster.
This absurd paradigm is meant to poke fun at the silliness of real world dating. It works when the symbolism is obvious. But the symbolism gets more and more complicated as the movie goes on. To the point where it seems as if the writers decided “hey let’s make the symbolism even crazier and the audience can decide what each thing symbolizes”. Like throwing the kitchen sink at the audience expecting them to interpret it as the statue of David. This seems a sloppy to me. As comedies can often get.
Not to say the symbolism has no merit at all. It does. Such as the man in the film who gives himself bloody noses and pretends they are spontaneous to have something in common with the pretty girl who has actual spontaneous bloody noses. Ok, that works. But the man brutally banging his head against a desk surprisingly was unnecessarily jarring. I don’t need to be beaten over the head like that.
Which leads to the scene that causes me not to be able to recommend this movie: A brutalized dog. There was no need to show this dog in such a way. It could have been alluded to or depicted differently. There was no need to hold a still shot on this image for so long. It was upsetting.
Aside from the shocking and violent imagery, the movie has some good points.
The acting is superb. Colin Farrell shows his natural talent and acting range. It’s easy to lose oneself in his character.
Rachel Weisz plays the female lead. One of many beautiful and talented actresses in Hollywood we are fortunate to be entertained by. Her eyes are expressive, yet expressionless. There seems to always be a simmering cauldron of emotion under those smoky serene eyes.
How can you take your eyes off her? You can’t. She will rip your heart out and serve it to you on a plate. Her heart you will fall in love with.
The deadpan delivery was carried on consistently by the skilled ensemble cast.
The humor is dry. It works sometimes, other times is hard to tell whether something was supposed to be a joke or not.
The story lacks cohesiveness. It seems like a bunch of fragmented stories put together into one semi-cohesive larger story. It was like a short story, it’s sequel and a few miniaturettes.
Based on the gore and lack of a cohesive understandable story, this was poor. But I cannot give it a D or less because it was interesting, funny in parts and was great acting. C-. Wait until they edit out the gory parts for TV, that will likely be a B-.