the-lobster-movie-posterTHE LOBSTER (2016) MOVIE REVIEW – 5 Stars (out of 5)

For nearly 90 minutes as I watched THE LOBSTER — which is the strangest movie that I have ever seen, I just didn’t get it. The movie made absolutely no sense to me.

“People who cannot become a couple within 45 days will be turned into the animal of their choice”. Really, are you kidding me? And this is the premise for a two hour movie? What the hell was I missing ?


“I like the sea; they live a long life; and the sex is often.”

I was missing a lot — until being hit by a bolt of lightning, suddenly, during the last 28 minutes of the film, I finally got it. Things began to fall into place. And, make sense. Today– two weeks since attending the press screening, I am recalling unforgettable brilliant scenes. Several of the story lines continue to haunt me. And one violent killing, still takes my breath away.

Wikipedia was never more correct in providing what seems like the perfect definition of THE LOBSTER:

“An art film is typically a serious independent film aimed at a niche market rather than a mass market audience. An art film is intended to be a serious artistic work, often experimental and not designed for mass appeal. They are made primarily for aesthetic reasons rather than commercial profit. And they contain unconventional or highly symbolic content.”

THE LOBSTER is unconventional symbolic content on steroids. It just may be the number one art film of the year. Certainly this is my first time awarding 5 full stars for a movie whose symbolism I am still trying to figure out.

Credit must go to the visionary Greek filmmaker, Yorgos Lanthimos. After directing four previous films, THE LOBSTER is the first he has made in English. His brilliant DOGTOOTH, was nominated for a 2009 Oscar as “Best Foreign Language Film”.

Credit must also go to his entire team, beginning with his co-screenwriter, Efthimis Filippou. Every aspect of this film is absolutely flawless: Photography, Editing, Production Design, Costumes and Casting. 5 Stars.

However, It is interesting that there is no original score. The well placed familiar classical and pop music perhaps reveals the not so subtle clue. We are very familiar with the not so absurd story. In many ways, we live it every day. I do not want to spoil the impact that this film carries and thus, I have to be careful not to reveal too much about the surreal plot.

Like with all movies, the success of the screenplay depends upon the actors who speak the words. Only Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz have names. Everyone else is known only by their description. (Sounds to me like today’s on-line dating.) Lanthimos and Filippou have created a Scorsese-like environment whose satire is quite funny (before it becomes violent.) Some critics will consider THE LOBSTER to be a comedy, with scene after scene of separate vignettes. It is this creative style with few words spoken that allows all of the actors to deliver subtle but powerful performances.

The ultimate themes of THE LOBSTER are not so subtle. Again, in many ways, we live it every day. Loneliness and Companionship. Laws and Consequences. Alliances and Loyalty. Romance and
Sacrifice. Please try to remember to stay and read the end credits very carefully.

As human beings, we have our doubts and sometimes question the randomness and the absurdity of our existence. In THE LOBSTER, be prepared to struggle long and hard after you have left the theater. Is what we have watched up on the screen so different from our ambiguous thoughts, feelings and actions ?

Being a lobster isn’t so bad. Indeed, it just may be the number one art film of the year!

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