Remember all that talk about your spirit animal a bit back?
Well, Yorgos Lanthimos beats that animal kingdom by then-some in The Lobster, the writer and director’s first English-speaking film of his Film-Fest darling career.
It’s a thoughtful satire on our society’s rush to pick somebody — anybody, really — to declare as The One.
We meet David in a dystopian world that doesn’t seem so different from right now, right after his divorce. He’s leaving The City for The Hotel, where he’ll get 45 days to find his mate from the other singles there. If he fails, he’ll ber transformed into the animal of his choice. David picks the lobster at his initial interview, disclosing his affection for the sea — and the fact that the crustaceans live far longer than the dog-brother he’s brought along with him.
Colin Farrell plays David perfectly dry to the bone in this ridiculous place filled with desperate folk. He befriends the guy with a lisp, played by John C. Really, and the rascal with a limp, played by Ben Whishaw. Indeed, nobody else in this movie even has a first name.
That works out OK, because in this world, everybody is identified by their faults. And that’s how they pair up, too. Of course, as time winds down, people may get deceptive about who and how they really are. Sound familiar, if opposite, to the manners of our world?
David’s wily ways lead him into the adjoining forest, where he encounters The Loners and a whole other list of romantic rules. The far-sighted woman, played so well by Rachel Weisz — also the narrating voice behind the whole 118 minutes — catches his eye and ardor.
Funny things happen. Peculiar, yes, and ha-ha in a oh-so-very-dry way.
The small downstairs Regal Cinemas theater at Syracuse mega shopping, dining and entertainment complex Destiny USA was filled to capacity, and everybody strained forward for the big finish.
I groaned, out loud. Made me continue thinking walking out, though …
Do you appreciate a dry sense of humor on the screen, or a more in-your-face comedic approach? Which animal would you choose for your transformation? Which fault would be your identifier in this world?