* out of ****
The Lobster is a surreal dark-comedy starring Colin Farrell as a single man living in a world where failed relationships require institutional correction at resort centers where you must find a mate within a given amount of time or you will be transformed into an animal of your choosing.
The movie dares to portray its characters without any level of emotional outrage toward their circumstances. Along with Farrell, the talented cast includes John C. Reilly, Rachel Weisz, Ben Whishaw and Léa Seydoux –all delivering perfect deadpan.
I was not so turned off by this film’s irreverent weirdness. Movies, such as Steven Soderbergh’s Schizopolis and Quentin Dupieux’s Wrong managed to entertain me immensely in their abandonment of comprehensible narrative structure. I found the beginning of The Lobster quite funny in its vague plot of people having difficulty following absurd life rules or meeting silly personal expectations. However, at the halfway point, the movie starts over in a completely different setting where people are seeking liberation from society, but ironically finding another harsh dogmatic structure imposed upon them.
After this development, the movie became so unbearably miserable and unfunny for me that I saw almost no merit to the early parts that made me chuckle or the ambition of its maker (Yorgos Lanthimos) who dedicated to such an oddball venture.
I didn’t care if I was missing something or misinterpreting its subtext; I thought The Lobster was a cinematic suicide note with only a couple of funny jokes.