Because the film looked so off the wall, my friends and I thought there would be plenty of seats available at the next showing of The Lobster. Unfortunately, there were only a few seats left. Two friends went to see Joy and their discussion of the movie afterward gave the impression of a truly dull film. Not the case with ours. I’m home now and I want to continue quoting the movie. I wonder what my friends would think of receiving a text message at 1 a.m. that reads, “A wolf and a penguin can’t be together, nor a camel and a hippo. That would be absurd.” Hahaha. That line makes me chuckle.
It’s the characters’ inability to recognize the absurdity of the dystopian world they live in, which is truly absurd. In this nightmarish setting, single people must spend a month at a resort and be conditioned into couples, or else they are sent to the transformation room, where they are turned into animals. It’s a reflection of society that certain people get so desperate to find a companion that they feign having the same interests or eccentricities as their mate in order to trick them into thinking they’re a perfect match.
Films in Turkish theaters have a ten-minute intermission for smokers. In the case of this film, splitting the film into halves helped me see that the first half of the film was way more interesting than the second. In the first part of the film, Collin Farrell’s character feels his way around the strange resort and makes unusual friends with two men who are also looking for love. All the characters go about their days with deadpan expressions, except for the hotel manager’s husband, who sings a cheesy duet with her at a formal dance, contorting his face into humorous expressions as he sings. The blank expressions are perhaps to show that people who claim to be in love are really just terrible actors playing a part and living up to social norms in society.
If you have a taste for strange films, then you might like stabbing your fork into The Lobster. But just a warning, there are a few disturbing scenes, so this film is not for the faint of heart.