The Lobster 2015 Movie Review Recommendation Breakfast

The Lobster [2015]

Jesus is this movie slow or what? When I first saw it, I immediately had an insatiable desire to check it out; Colin, Greek director, and generally arousing theme about social constructs. However, upon viewing the trailer I realized that the pacing is going to be a huge problem. Director Yorgos Lanthimos used to direct music videos and although this is not his first dance with feature movies, the whole thing felt just too slow. It’s so slow that you will be able to discuss what’s going on-screen with whoever you’re watching the movie (or yourself in my case) and the scene will still be running.

I guess this is useful since the movie is a bit deepesh and when I say deepesh I mean it’s fucking hard to understand at first. However, you will start picking up on the story about twenty minutes in. This is my guess for my average reader; it took me a good 45 minutes to get it. So now, you have a choice: you could read on and find out what’s going on beforehand or you could check out the movie and come back here for more. If you read on, you will be able to immediately analyze the whole movie, without the need for a second viewing. And one more thing before you delve into the lobster – Runtime: 119 min, although the real feel is something around 3 hours 🙂

David just lost his brother and he decided to shake things up a bit in his life. He went to a special hotel where you can try and find a soul mate. The world is now changed and if you and your mate manage to make a connection, you will be given a child and an opportunity to live out your life. However, if you don’t find the mate in the allotted time you will be turned into an animal of your choice…

The Lobster Poster

The Lobster – The explanation

To make things clearer I am going to divide the movie into two separate pieces: The story as-is and The story behind the story.

The story as-is: This is what confused me so much and in fact, this represents a very interesting concept. I’m a bit nerdy and sciency so immediately I started picking apart different elements of the story and how they work. For instance, how do you go about transforming someone into an animal, or why are these people just accepting these rules without rebelling or at least trying to do something. Also if we have the technology that can do wonders why are still some ancient technology or concepts present?

How do people get elected to their roles and what’s the general story behind all this? All these questions stem from the clash of rational and artistic, but because Yorgos decided to go out all-artistic, the rational element is missing and this is confusing for our brain trying to process and reverse engineer the story. The entire world is not something that actually exists but is indeed a metaphor or a physical manifestation of our social structure and customs that we adopted over thousands of years of evolution. So try not to take things literally but instead try to convert their language and actions into our world.

The story behind the story: This is a commentary about the status of love, marriage, and relationships in today’s society. The hotel represents the usual social structure and order where you’re supposed to find a mate, based on a common trait, and then get kids. While you’re in the process of finding a suitable mate, the hotel staff (society) constantly rubs their asses on your private parts, arousing you to the point of ejaculation, and then leaving. This is in regards to society’s relationship with sexuality and overuse of it everywhere; while at the same time applauding chastity and very mild sexual practices (dare I say vanilla). To prolong your stay at the hotel, you hunt loners (people who live in the woods – they are people without partners in real life).

These hunts could be sexual or in fact derogatory towards the people who do not have a mate. The whole mate or no mate aspect of this movie is the focus lens you should use when watching and analyzing (we know Ray, we know). There are a couple of options once you check into the hotel: you can actually find a mate whom you like and end up married with kids, living “the perfect life” or you can fake it, finding a mate with a certain trait (lisp, limp, shortsightedness, bad temper) and fake that. In doing so you will be granted access to sex finally, but if your spouse finds out… The last option is to run to the woods.

the-lobster-2015-movie hotel scene

Now those woods and the whole terrain around the Hotel actually represents our daily struggles. Commute to work, actual work, day-to-day stuff you know. This can be seen when David comments that he didn’t have time to choose his pants wisely, this is most likely in regards to the hastily taken job or something like that. Finally, I would like to talk about the ending, mostly because that whole in the woods section was a bit confusing. The whole eye thing is actually a sacrifice that we make for our partners in order to prolong the relationship. We change our personalities to work better together, which makes perfect sense if that’s your prime directive. However, I think that this is about those sacrifices that were not necessary at all.

In the end, this movie should be viewed as an examination of relationships and their current status in our society, through an artistic lens. Of course, real life is far more complex and not as nearly great as it is represented in this movie, I feel ridicules just mentioning this.

Furthermore, in the end, I have to balance things out (this is still BBC) with a realistic take on relationships. First of all, I understand what’s Yorgos trying to do, but I think he should have balanced out this anger towards society with at least something. This way we are left with the same thing as revolutions, basically after that first spout of anger and hope is spent, things just revert back. We must admit that we are evolved animals and that during that evolution we have somehow reached consciousness and all this that we are feeling now is a consequence of that.

The need for mating and a partner is already built into us, it is our biological imperative. However, we have managed to evolve beyond that, into conscious beings capable of choosing their own paths since the elements that shaped us into savages who only want to fight and fuck all the time are no longer there. A portion of the population longs for those times and tries to bring them back constantly, while others are still evolving and looking onto the stars. That’s it Yorgos, just one final shot with stars and perhaps a spaceship flying into orbit could do the balancing act.

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Writer: Efthymis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos

Cast: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux, Michael Smiley, Ben Whishaw

Fun Facts: The production worked almost entirely with natural light and without make-up. Lighting was only used for some night scenes.

IMDb Link:

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