In a dystopian future if you are single (or suddenly become single) you must leave The City and go to The Hotel. You are given 45 days to find a partner/match or you will be turned into animal and released into the woods. You get to pick which animal you would like to be though.
Having seen a lot of buzz around this film after it opened at the London Film Festival and since been nominated for awards. I made the effort to go to a unchained local cinema, considering my Cineworld did not get this film on release. So I have been waiting quite a while to catch this film, yes it does sound very strange. I can confirm that it is actually a very strange film which raises some very interesting and good points about love and life. It makes us think about what society is actually like and parts of this film aren’t really too far away from the reality we currently live in. I am going to do this review in a slightly different way and because the film has two different parts I am going to discuss those parts separately.
David is our main character and who we get to see trying to ensure he is not turned into a Lobster. That is his pick and you cannot deny that he has a good idea behind why he would like to be a Lobster. He has put a lot of thought into it. He ends up in The Hotel after his wife leaves him for another man. Armed with his dog, or should that be brother he is then adapting to his new life. Or maybe that should be his chance of survival? I guess those are both the same for 45 days. The other thing to mention about this world is that they are obsessed with finding the perfect match so the male/female who has exactly the same “problem” as you, for David this is being short-sighted.
You can of course add to your days by catching people in The Hunt!
He does make a couple of friends very quickly as the search to find a partner does not seem to be going very well for any of them. Some lying and deceit may be the only way to actually make it to the couples rooms, followed by the yacht to then make it back to The City. Yes this does sound very complicated but I guess you can relate this to people thinking by a certain age you should be at certain milestones like being with someone and having a house, then children etc. So to actually see a world where people who are single are abducted and forced to try and be with someone or you become an animal is pretty crazy to watch.
So the second part takes David into The Woods (don’t worry no songs in these woods). This is where we see a complete opposite way of living, in The Woods being lonely and single is perfectly fine but you are not allowed to do anything other than talk to another person. Let’s face it we all know that goes against nature when you actually spark and find that one special person. I am sure you can guess what is going to happen with that though. The Woods isn’t a good place to be either but at least you won’t be turned into an animal I guess.
The Lone Leader is very driven in not wanting people to be happy as a couple or with someone else. We don’t get a back story for her so I am just assuming that she had her heart-broken and never really recovered from that. Some of the things that she does were awful, ok one main thing was horrendous but can’t say what it was as would spoil it. Thought it was going to happen though and not the nicer thing she was claiming. I think different people behave different ways when they are told they have to do certain things in a certain way.
I personally think the key thing I have taken from this film is that when it comes to love and people you cannot force people to be with just anyone. You have to find that real connection, with sparks or at least a spark to begin with and also know everything about that person. Something you probably cannot do in 45 days. It really is hard-hitting about how important love is in your life and that you will probably find it when you least expect it rather than when you are really trying and working hard for it. In a strange way we can learn from The Lobster and just deal with things as they happen, not trying to make them happen. If you spark with someone then you’ve really got it all.
Performance wise I thought Colin Farrell was fantastic really holding everything together in such a believable performance. Do I have to mention that he put a lot of weight on for this role? Ok maybe not a lot of weight but for him it looks like it was, as it wasn’t for muscle either. But I think that helped with his character of David in all honesty.
I must also add that the film does have some very funny lines and moments in it as well. It feels pretty real in that sense, just incase my review is a little bit too heavy. The film does have a good balance and mix, even if some of the jokes are very to the knuckle and harsh. The people in this world seem like they always have to tell the truth and say what they think!
What would you do if you had to choose?