Sundance Recap: “The Lobster”



This offbeat, subversive and squirm-inducing film is the perfect companion piece to director Yorgos Lanthimos‘ other feature, “Dogtooth.” In a society where nobody is allowed to be single, loner humans eventually find themselves at an institution where you have 45 days to find a suitable mate or you’ll be turned into an animal of your choice. This, of course, leads people to ‘fake it’ — with dire consequences.

When David (an always fantastic Colin Farrell) finds himself on the run after escaping the institute, he joins a pack of militant singles hiding out in the woods – where coupling is also forbidden – and finds his true love in a short sighted woman (Rachel Weisz).

Presenting an interesting take on society’s obsession with love, sex, and the fear of being alone, this devilishly funny movie often had me questioning my mental state when I’d start to laugh. It’s not for everyone (the director’s trademark horrifying brutality towards animals is certainly in play here), but those who give it a shot are in for a treat. I also loved the simple and silly horror score which punctuated the sarcastic tone of the film.

With an ending that’s open for endless interpretation, “The Lobster” will shatter your notions of what it means to be in love.


Another Sundance Film Festival movie with a strange but fascinating premise: all single people are rounded up and placed in a hotel. They have 45 days to find a partner; if they don’t, at the end of the 45 days they are transformed into an animal of their choice.

The premise serves to drive an insightful story about humanity, and why we feel so driven (or, alternatively, why society thinks it so important) that we find a significant other. It also raises interesting questions about the nature of love and affection, and what it is that we look for in a life partner — and what keeps us bound to that person that we have chosen to walk through life with us.

While I didn’t love “The Lobster,” I did like and appreciate its unique take on one of the central concerns of the human condition. If you appreciate offbeat darkly comic movies and want to be challenged in your perceptions of the nature of love, romance, and solitude, then I encourage you to see this movie.

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