The Lobster  (2015)

I love movies that just drop you into a world that is completely insane to the viewer, but completely normal within the movie. No explanation, no backstory, just strap yourself in and go. You pick up pieces as you go, things are explained naturally, and the ride is full of twists and turns and reveals, and it's just awesome.

In "The Lobster", no one is allowed to be single. If you can't find a partner, or you get divorced, or even if your wife or husband dies, you have to go to a hotel to find a new match. If you're unable to find a match in 45 days, you're turned into an animal. Don't worry about why these rules are in place, don't worry about the arbitrary deadline, don't worry about the mechanics of turning a human into an animal, just don't worry about anything and enjoy the absurdity of it all.

Colin Farrell, John C. Reilly, and Ben Whishaw become friends in the hotel, with varying degrees of success in finding a mate. Everybody is awkward as hell, everybody is way too blunt, and no one really knows what they're supposed to be doing. Finding love is hard enough in the real world, let alone knowing that you have 45 days...40 days...21 days...2 days before you get turned into an animal.

Farrell ends up escaping and joining a group of "Loners" in the woods, a society that is rebelling against the forced unions and instead will punish any member caught in a romantic or sexual relationship. These Loners are also hunted by the guests of the Hotel, and for every Loner caught, a guest gets an extra day. Of course, while being a Loner, Farrell finds love, and must keep it a secret.

I've seen this movie described as a comedy, and I guess that while not everyone would laugh, a "black absurdist comedy" is the best description. Nearly every line in the movie is ridiculous, but delivered in a flat deadpan way that makes you believe that the characters are completely authentic. Colin Farrell is fantastic, John C. Reilly is pathetically hilarious (or hilariously pathetic), Olivia Colman is incredible at delivering ludicrous lines with perfect stoicism. Rachel Weisz has been well-documented within [Celluloid Hero] as being "distractingly beautiful", and I still stand by that statement. I'd been meaning to watch this movie for a while, and now the other films by Yorgos Lanthimos are being bumped up to closer to the top of my list.

[Celluloid Hero] gives "The Lobster" an 8 out of 10.

 

 

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