A week ago I went out to dinner with two friends, and as a result of dinner at the Taj Tandoor in Rundle Street being very enjoyable and going late, that meant our movie choice for the evening was down to one – the intriguing British film The Lobster.
I hadn’t heard much about this film. To be honest I hadn’t heard about it at all before Tuesday night! The premise behind this film is that in a dystopian near-future (Reviewer’s side note: Aren’t nearly all near-future movies “dystopian” these days? I’m thinking The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, et al) in the UK (presumably), once you become an adult, being in a relationship is everything. You are not allowed by the government to live alone, and certainly not by choice. You are completely shunned by society.
In fact, those unfortunate singles are shunted off to a hotel on the coast, and you have exactly 45 days to find yourself a new partner to live the rest of your life with – or else be turned into an animal of your choice! (“That’s why there’s so many dogs in the world – people just automatically say ‘dog’ without thinking about it too much!”) If your partner dies – bad luck. If your partner decides they want to be with someone else (i.e. someone better), and they form a new couple and leave you on your own – bad luck! Off you go to The Hotel! This premise is also where the title of the film comes from. Some people escape this weird, couple-only-based future, and survive in the wild, living alone (because you can’t live in a city by yourself – you’d be caught for being on your own). The film features both groups – the couples and the loners, and just how bizarre this future is.
The acting talent in this film is impressive, with Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz as the two leads, and they actually make a pretty good screen pairing (I can’t say ‘couple’ – you need to see the film to understand why!). The back-up cast is equally impressive with American actor John C Reilly and Brits Olivia Colman (from Broadchurch) and Ashley Jensen (from Ricky Gervais’ Extras) all in great form.
While the premise and plot are reasonably interesting and the acting is certainly good, this film is bizarre. There are some genuinely funny laugh-out-loud moments, and there were times when it was so surreal that the film had a definite Monty Python feel to it. However, the director takes us to places that we probably don’t need to go, and we’re shown things that we don’t need to see. And, in this reviewer’s eyes, the last 15 mins of the film is just unpalatable. I honestly didn’t expect a happy ending, but I expected something a lot better than what I got.
One for the truly indie film lovers. 2 stars.
By David Emms
David Emms is an electronic engineer, a father, and an avid movie goer.
He lives in Adelaide