#REVIEW: “THE LOBSTER”
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
Yorgos Lanthimos is a festival circuit favorite. He’s been received well at the Berlin, Venice, Cannes and Toronto festivals. With regards to the latter, the Greek director screened his first English feature there last September. The Lobster, a Film similar to his previous efforts in its ability to make the offbeat and abstract approachable for a wider audience.
The Lobster takes place in a dystopian world. Inhabitants of the City must have a mate in order to retain citizenship. If at any point they fail to keep a partner they are sent to the Hotel. At the Hotel they are given incentives to pair up with a fellow guest. They have six weeks to succeed, or they can extend their stay by hunting down Loners in the Woods. If their stay concludes without a match they are transformed into the Animal of their choosing.
Colin Farrell plays David, who has been sent to the Hotel after his wife leaves him. Upon his arrival he is asked what Animal he’d like to be if he is unsuccessful. David replies that he would like to be a Lobster due to their long life and virility. This insight is key to understanding the oddities that occur thereafter.
David tries desperately to find a match, but after a particular pairing goes awry he flees to join the Loners. There in the woods he meets a short-sighted woman (Rachel Weisz) who steals his heart. The trouble is Loners have rules of all their own, and coupling is an absolute no-no. The clandestine love affair leads the story through the Woods, City and Hotel in an effort to bring clarity through obscurity.
Both Farrell and Weisz are excellent at delivering the dry and humorous script. So is Ben Whishaw, Olivia Colman, Léa Seydoux and John C. Reilly. In addition to the excellent cast the Film is picturesque, particularly during the Woods sequences. Shot in Ireland, The Lobster extends one’s appreciation for the lush wilderness that flourishes there. It also sheds light on luxury resort Parknasvilla which acts as the Film’s Hotel. Lanthimos and his team of Greek artisans prove they have an eye for beauty, as well as the means to shape a story that is both out there and introspective. If you’re looking for something enjoyable that is off the beaten path than be sure to see The Lobster.
Mongrel Media release THE LOBSTER Friday, March 25, 2016.