Yorgos Lanthimos’ Cannes revelation Lobster is a film that you either fall for entirely or you wish it never happened. Set in a dystopian world, where people pair up after a limited-time stay in a hook-up hotel, is a painfully real parallel to our modern reality – a witty and thought-provoking film.
David (Colin Farrell) is recently left by his wife and the loneliness forces him to buy a convalescence stay in a very peculiar hotel. He’s supposed to find a new partner, but if he fails to do so, he will be turned into an animal.
Lanthimos intentionally puts on a pedestal his protagonist and his “values” – David strongly reminisces the main character from George Orwell’s 1984, breaking out of the shackles of the depraved system. What the interest of the Greek director the compellingly artificial world of humanity, reduced to procreation-oriented machines, which is not so far from where the world is heading nowadays. Any relationships in Lanthimos’ perception are mutually obligating contracts, formed within time confines in the hotel, whilst the lonely individuals are the aberrations of the ordered society – literally turned into animals as they fail to match up. No matter how brutal it sounds, this is a hyperbolized analogy to the Internet-driven reality – attacked from every corner by the pictures of fruitful relationships on Facebook and Instagram, more of us feel depressed and sticking out. But eventually, who needs those lonely malcontents – says Lanthimos.
Lanthimos’ poem is fantastically portrayed by his cast. Beginning from marvelous job by Colin Farrell as confused, emotionally clumsy David, perfectly laconic role of Weisz and ending with small-time performances by Olivia Colman, John C. Reilly and Ben Whishaw – there is plenty of superb acting in Lobster. The cinematography, varying from intentionally campy slow-motion to spacious shots reminding of how lonely world around David is, does its part too in fitting this peculiar drama. Finally, Lanthimos sustains the awkwardness mainly thanks to the skillfully written script, inch by inch, slowly breaking down even the most positive viewers. Lobster WILL make you think, but first of all – depress.
Unsettling as Lobster gets with time, it is a bitter lesson about the modern world – deprived of true values, shallow and sex-oriented, hidden behind the screen of a smartphone. And there is something particularly harrowing in the question, which asked to each guest of the so-called hotel – what animal would you become if you fail to find a partner?
UMP Grade: 40
(Cinematography: 8, Plot: 8, Acting: 8.5, Soundtrack: 7.5, Quaintness: 8)