There are movies that you come across with and you’re not even sure how it happened. “The Lobster” is a prime example of that: a friend mentioned it to me, saying that judging by the name, it sounded like something out of a “Friends” episode (remember “he’s her lobster”?). I got curious about what it was actually about and the real synopsis didn’t disappoint, so I decided to give it I try. I’m not sure I understood the movie, however, so I figured it was a good idea to share my impressions about it with you and hear your thoughts so I can try to make more sense of it!
This is usually the part of the review where I quickly write about what the movie was about, but the IMDB storyline is so peculiar and intriguing that I decided to just share that here: “In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.” Go ahead, read that again. Yep, that’s exactly what the movie was about. By now, you’re probably starting to get a grasp on why I had a hard time understanding it.
The first half of the movie is actually really interesting. I’ve mentioned several times here that I really enjoy dystopian movies, as I feel like they can be successful in showing how our society would cope if the basic norms we take as true simply didn’t exist and were substituted by other sets of rules. This movie explores not only that, but also parodies the way relationships are dealt with in our lives. It takes the way we relate to one another after the internet and the dating apps, these quick and often meaningless relationships that can only mask loneliness for so long, and heightens it, making it so that it is unacceptable in this society to be alone.
For a while, this concept worked really well. The fact that everyone in the hotel dressed exactly the same, for example, kind of feels like a parody of the fact that whenever you go to clubs or social events, most guys and girls seem to be wearing very similar clothes because that’s what’s considered attractive. Many situations in the movie appeared to be parodies of our world, and it was really interesting trying to find those connections. The dry and dark humor, though not my thing, was also good and managed to make me keep watching. However, I felt like the movie lost its balance during the second half, and this is where I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t quite understand it or if it actually stopped making a lot of sense.
The movie tried to make room for a more conventional romance, which felt a bit out of place here even though the whole point of the hotel was to try and find a pair. Much of the humor and the parodies vanished when the relationship between two of the characters appeared, and everything started feeling a bit disconnected from the main narrative. At some points I was asking myself exactly what was happening because things started happening too quickly and without much explanation.
I’m not one to say that a movie is bad, especially in cases like this where I’m not sure if I followed everything. “The Lobster” definitely has its cast working in its favor, and the cinematography manages to convey the kind of empty feeling that goes along with trying to find a pair just for survival reasons. Aside from that, I felt like the script could be a little bit clearer and stick with some aspects of the movie more than others. It was, however, an interesting experience, and if you like dystopian movies that leave room for you to fill in the blanks, I’d recommend giving this one a try! If you do watch it, tell me your thoughts and let me know if I got it completely wrong!
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