Film

The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)

The Lobster seems to be one of those films that divides people; much the way types of people are segregated in the film’s premise of single people and couples. This is away of purifying our species; separating the winners from losers. Colin Farrell is an overweight, depressed and laconic middle-aged man quarantined to a hotel with other single, lonely middle-aged people, each of whom are subjected to humiliating social activities in order for them find a partner and avoid the final date in which they downgraded, Kafkaesque, into some other less important species of their own choice; eg. a dog, a bird, a horse etc.

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I didn’t know much about this film except that my sister had suggested it, but instead we went to see Sicaro, which she seemed to really like, and I thought was okay. Funnily enough, had we seen The Lobster instead, I imagine our responses would have been the reverse.

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The film reminded me of the grim satire of Luis Bunuel’s Exterminating Angel, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, George Lucas’s Orwellian THX1138 and also the deadpan ironic humour of Wes Anderson’s films. If it’s possible to imagine what such a film resemble, I’d say The Lobster was fairly close.

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Things I’d liked about The Lobster:

  1. The characters are desperate, pathetic and generally unlikable.
  2. Where the Irish woman slaps her best friend and asks to watch the film Stand By Me before she is transformed into a pony, but which still retains her beautiful blonde her.
  3. When Ben Whishaw has to headbutt a table to make his nose bleed in order to get a girl who suffers from nosebleeds to like him and save himself from transformed.
  4. When a woman tries to seduce Farrell by offering him a blowjob and anal sex but he declines using the excuse that he can’t spend time with her because his dog Bob (actually his brother) is not allowed out of his room. He congratulates himself for such a clever excuse several times.
  5. When a woman commits suicide and he left screaming in agony, Farrell says he wishes she was in more pain but would shut up so that he can court another woman who is as cold and cruel as he.
  6. When Farrell tells the manager that he wants to become a lobster because these creatures can live for a hundred years, are always fertile and that he loves the sea and is a good swimmer.
  7. When John C Reilly tells Farrell and Whishaw that he’d like to become a parrot and that they should choose parrots to because then they stay together, but then Whishaw loses his temper and mocks Reilly for having a lisp.
  8. When Reilly is confronted by the manager and staff for alleged masturbating, which is prohibited, in front of the entire group. Reilly tries to be civil and keep his composure but the manager punishes him by burning his hand in a toaster.

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  9. The scene where Farrell cruelly insults Whishaw infront of his new family and then kicks his adopted daughter in the shin and tells her she’ll have a limp like her dad. And when later he interrupts their dinner and tells Whishaw’s wife that he was only faking the nosebleeds to survive, but the daughter grabs a knife and tells her mum to stab Farrell.

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  10. When Reilly confronts Farrell in the forest and tries to convince him they were best friends, but Farrell says he can’t even remember Whishaw’s name. Farrell begs Reilly to let him escape, but Reilly is running out of time and wants to capture him to prolong his own sentence. Farrell says he can’t understand him because of his lisp, and that he’s so ugly it’s futile and should give up.
  11.  When Rachel Weisz sees Farrell for the first time and in her voiceover says she fantasised they were together and that one day he walked into the kitchen and ‘fucked her up the ass’.

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  12. When Farrell and Weisz have a forbidden romance and create a secret code using sign language and dead rabbits to express themselves, but later, ironically, survive as fugitives amongst a resistance group in which they must remain single and not have sex. Here, the only music you can listen to is electronic and everyone must dance alone.
  13. When Farrell tries to partner with a cold and sadistic woman and she wakes him up one morning to tell him she has kicked his dog/brother Bob to death, and who had made a sad whimpering sound because he was in so much pain. Farrell tries to conceal his grief and fails.
  14. The scene where Farrell and the other hotel guests are made to watch the staff demonstrate why being in a couple is important, and where a man drops his trousers and then pretends to sexually assault a maid, who starts flailing her hands in mock panic.

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