Indie filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos brings us the latest in indie romance, but with a hint of science-fiction and a splash of horror to concoct a medley of darkly humorous and equally thought provoking cinema. Colin Ferrell stands tall and a few pounds heavier in his latest role alongside John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, Rachel Weisz, and Lea Seydoux respectively. A story the perfectly encapsulates the art-form of indie film making comes from and center in a world where people are turned into an animal of their choosing if they do not fall in love with a proper match. With that in mind, it’s about as weird as you’d think it is, and you won’t forget it anytime soon.
As a smaller film than most are used to, you have to go into this film realizing that this is in fact an art-house flick that isn’t full of heroes and large set pieces, but is instead an introspective cinematic experience that has some recognizable faces in roles you have likely not seen them in. It takes on the ideas of compatibility and brings them to the weirdest and darkest corners of its conceptual genesis and revelation all while making you laugh at its dry delivery and nonchalant attitude. Unsettling at times through imagery and idealistic conflicts, The Lobster succeeds at feeling like an indie film while delivering a potently original script and set-up throughout.
At times, it is though as if you are transported back in time to a world where Stanley Kubrick is still alive and directing indie masterpieces. With hallway scenes mirroring that of The Shining and the silence during the torture and mayhem of some characters feels all too realistic at times, but reels you back in with the humor of an elderly prankster in their nursing home, unflinching, and absolute. If I could describe what it felt like at times, it would be a mixture of Spike Jonze’s Her and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel only with more muted coloration. It doesn’t hurt that this film also has a big actor with an unnerving mustache.
It has the sporadic nature of a toddler at a recess, but the angst and self loathing of a teenager in high school which brings us one of the more adolescent tales of mature themes than we see in mainstream cinema. It makes you wonder what society’s take on dating will become in the future if we focus so aggressively on the idea of “the perfect match”. It jumps through each stage of love and the aftermath of that love being taken away. It’s almost like a grieving process through the eyes of a movie giving that unstable personality that would grow with most people.
Farrell is the perfect man to bring on the grey character of David to life with his monotone performance pushing the quirky, odd ball story or “romance” to life. A world of forced love and animals roaming the world in hopes they find an animal that is their species is whacky unheard of if you ask me and it will take a serious indie film lover to embrace the nature of this darkly poetic black comedy drama. It is acted perfectly by it’s surprisingly star studded cast and has a script that adapted well for the screen. I can see why The Lobster is on the tongues of so many men and women at Cannes as well as theaters across the world.