The Lobster (2016)

Make no mistake: this is one weird movie.

It revolves around the concept that, in some sick effing universe, you have 45 days to find a mate or you’re reincarnated as the animal of your choice. David (Colin Farrell, In Bruges) is sent to The Hotel for this very reason, finding a mate, and it’s a miserable experience. People find reasons to couple, even if they aren’t really compatible, and then they’re punished for their falsifications. David escapes, but the rest of the world is just as demented. Police check marriage certificates like they might soon check for gender on birth certificates. It’s a terrifying thought.

The film makes some very critical observations on our societies, and I appreciate that. It’s just that you need an iron will to survive them. The Hotel makes its visitors go through workshops where they learn how much better it is to have a partner, and they teach this by crippling the people involved, cuffing hands behind backs and all that. You’re led to believe that, if you’re alone, something is genuinely wrong with you. It felt like being sent to an insane asylum, only in that you went there to become insane, and not the other way around. If you rebel against the system, you’re a Loner. But as a Loner, you’re not even allowed to form romantic attachments. Like, what?

The Lobster is a painstakingly realized social commentary, and it is an excellent film. The performances are pure conviction, and the world is frighteningly authentic. It does get boring at times–woefully boring–but I learned something by watching it. I learned that you’re not supposed to like this world. If you do, you’re part of the problem.

Also, your dog is probably your dead cousin, so be nice to him.

3.5

The Lobster is in theaters now.

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