Monday, June 6, 2016
Indie Review: The Lobster (2016)
'The Lobster' Is A Very Clawing Piece Of Satire
Even if this film is a dark comedy, I still find it quite odd that it's way funnier than other comedies I've seen this year.
The Lobster follows the story of a man named David (Colin Farrell) who is transported to a retreat for single people and has 45 days to find a mate unless he'll be turned into an animal. But when he escapes the retreat and meets a group of single outsiders, he finds things complicated once he falls for a short-sighted woman (Rachel Weisz).
I'll first delve into the screenplay. There is plenty of unique and colorful world building in a dystopian setting yet it also depicts a very relevant theme of the pressures of finding a companion and the script incorporates biting satirical humor while doing so. Even after the film was over, it got me thinking of how I'm always on Tinder, swiping left and right trying to find the right companion so that I don't feel alone while my younger relatives are getting married. I like movies that have me thinking about my own life as well as the world around me. So major kudos to the screenwriters, Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymus Filippou, for crafting such a timely and complex story.
Writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos, who also did the dark comedy Dogtooth, is able to ground the film's dystopian setting into reality without the use of futuristic special effects and set pieces or anything like that. The future in the film looks and seems quite boringly normal. Lanthimos focuses a lot more on the characters and their desperation to find a companion and how they are under control in an almost totalitarian regime.
The normal looking future is also well captured by the blueish cinematography in the first half of the movie where the main character is in the hotel. Yet when he escapes into the woods, the cinematography looks brighter as if David is in a different world. Plus, the costume design helps capture the future's vanilla feel with the characters in the hotel wearing the same outfits.
Next, I'll get into the acting. Even if he isn't in every single frame, Colin Farrell commands the screen as David. When you look into his eyes, you can see how he is quietly trying to swift his way out of each rough situation. A few other standouts include Olivia Colman as the hotel's sinister yet sardonic manager, Ben Whishaw as an aloof yet oddly sympathetic limping hotel guest, and lastly, Lea Seydoux as the ambiguous leader of the outsiders. Seydoux can easily paralyze you with just a look and the fact that she can command your attention even without any dialogue proves why she should be one of our biggest stars.
Overall, The Lobster is a masterful black comedy about the pressures of companionship mixed in a dystopian setting. Even as I enjoyed getting lost in this new, unorthodox world, I was still given flashes of how we tend to be in the real world.