Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Lobster (2015) Film Review
Reviewed by: Richard Mowe
With distinct shades of the black and absurdist work of Luis Buñuel and with a twist of George Orwell thrown in for good measure, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’s first feature in English has to rank as one of the most bizarre offerings in this year’s Competition selection at Cannes.
For his strange world, he creates a spa resort hotel where the singleton guests are given 45 days to find a mate - or face the prospect of being turned into an animal of their choice and then released into the wild.
Marriage and children are still regarded as a prized activity whereas anyone outside the charmed circle is severely suspect. Lanthimos satirises our obsession with relationships and modern day electronic dating rituals although the results are not nearly as funny and knowing as the director clearly thinks.
Colin Farrell is just one of a cluster of starry names who find themselves incarnating characters checking in for rehabilitation. He plays a divorcee with a certain vulnerable hang-dog air and for brief period he chums up with Ben Wishaw, as a young man with a limp, and John C Reilly, as middle-aged bachelor with a lisp, all of them in the same boat. The Farrell character’s choice of reincarnation is as a lobster because they live for a long time and he loves the sea.
Farrell tries to strike up a relationship with a stern blonde (played by Angeliki Papoulia) but when the coupling fails he escapes off into the forest where he meets Léa Seydoux as the leader of a group of anarchists and falls in love with Rachel Weisz’s beautiful loner. The hotel where everyone is known by their room number, is ruled over by Olivia Coleman’s matter-of-fact manager, who ensures the strict regime is carried out to the letter.
Shot on the wild coast of County Kerry in Ireland (although the film has no specified location or time) it is rendered in muted tones.
Intriguing enough for the first two-thirds of its timespan, the film runs out of ideas as the conclusion comes near, which is a pity because that is likely to disappoint the cult fans who warmed to his earlier Kinetta, Oscar-nominee Dogtooth and Alps.Reviewed on: 16 May 2015