The Lobster

The Lobster (2016) is a great film. That being said, I’m not sure I recommend that you go see it. I don’t know who you are, but I know that you very well may leave the theater feeling sad about whoever you came to see the movie with, or if you came by yourself, well, you may leave feeling even more sad. Then again, you may leave feeling joyous, as you are not willing to go to an extreme in order to be with some one and, perhaps, this film confirms that decision for you.

 

We were at the beach (Eww)
Everybody had matching towels (Eww)
Somebody went under a dock (Eww)
And there they saw a rock (Eww)
It wasn’t a rock (Eww)
Was a rock lobster (Eww)

 

So, what makes this film, this sad film, also a great film? In part, it’s the premise — marriage is required in order to be part of society, with no exceptions for widows or recent divorces or broken hearts or even just those ill-suited for pairing. This premise is played out perfectly, with no tongue-in-cheek moments, a perfect, brilliant satire. The casting is also superb, and much has already been made of Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, deservedly so. The performance that stood out to me was Lea Seydoux playing the Loner Leader… who loves her parents.

The sad part is that the film leaves you with that premise and doesn’t give you an easy out or answer for the relentless coupling that society seems to require of us (I say all of this as a person who is happily married and hoping to remain so). I left the film feeling like coming to the theater with my husband, sharing a cookie with him during the showing, and leaving to have an after-movie chat and beer at the bar/restaurant next door was somehow contributing to the pervasive need for a “soulmate” and feeling a bit uneasy about that.

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