The Lobster – It Is Better to be Dead or a Wild Animal Than Single

…At least that is what the dystopian society in The Lobster believes. So profoundly in fact, that this truth – as it where – hinges entirely on the preposterous vision of an entire subsection of society dependent on the “rehabilitation” and matchmaking of single folk. From the hilarious and dark mind of Greek director Yargos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, AlpsThe Lobster is just as deliciously strange as Lanthimos’ previous films. Juxtaposing the banal: awkward small talk with strangers, stiffly dancing with a potential match at a singles mixer, sitting down to breakfast in a hotel alone; with the extraordinary: what lengths one will go to to find a potential mate and well, being turned into a wild animal if one’s match is not made. (Don’t worry, the characters comically get the choice of what they want to be turned into.) The actors do an amazing job (especially John C. Reilly) with delivering the purposefully emotionally stunted dialogue, and the cinematography is stunning. The use of chiaroscuro is brilliant -contrasting bright colors is some scenes and matching dour, muted grays in others.  The music perfectly highlights the tension in some scenes and the awkward levity in others. Despite the high quality production value, I wasn’t sure if I liked the film after the first viewing. I had to really think about it, mull it over and digest the message, the harsh, biting satire. I found it a bit disturbing, but also completely nonsensical in some ways. I even re watched some scenes. Then it occurred to me – the fact that I was thinking about it so much, trying to understand it is proof alone that it is a well done film. Most films drift away in my memory – usually as soon as the very next day. This one stays. It sits in your belly like something that disagrees with it, churning almost sickly, causing you to examine your own society and the pressure for a perfect relationship. I heartily recommend, but urge to go in open minded, and willing to think a little.

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