The Lobster, a Movie Review
There are many benefits to being married. With someone to look after you, you are more likely to get medical care when ill. Together, people shift to a longer term view, becoming more likely to save for retirement or a child’s college education. Single men commit far more crimes than married men. So it is in society's best interest to encourage people to pair off.
The movie “The Lobster” takes this idea to an illogical extreme. In the movie The Lobster, people who do not have a mate are put in institutions to be paired off or be turned into animals.
Pros of the Movie “The Lobster”
The insane premise of "The Lobster" is intensified by the dramatic narration that takes boring scenes to an absurd level. Even the movie admits the mandated pairing off is extreme, because so many try to run off and escape only to be hunted by other singles hoping to buy time.
The hunting scenes have a Monty Python feel. The concept of people trying to find mates hunting those who refuse to find mates is countered by the knowledge they'll end up an animal if they fail to find a mate. This has horrifying implications when you meet the singles who are living off the land, potentially eating their captured comrades who were turned into animals.
There are many jokes one can make about the insane lengths people do to connect with someone – this movie actually invents a few. And they check people for marriage certificates the way ID gets checked in neighborhoods when they are looking for terrorists.
There are many witty remarks on human nature and humorous observations.
The movie has those little background details so common in British comedy like the camel walking through the forest. It is similar - though not as heavy - as “You, Me and the Apocalypse” with everything from Hari Krishnas fighting Moonies to the Queen calmly strolling through a rioting city before the world ends.
Cons of the Movie “The Lobster”
The constant series of set up scenarios to try to force camaraderie are not very funny. The mandatory sexual stimulation by the maid of the main character versus burning a man’s hand for masturbating were not funny. Some of the narration of imagined "normal" life while trying to hide from the authorities were amusing.
The movie doesn't shy from gore including fake animal cruelty.
The movie makes you wonder how many people pair of with someone, anyone, if only to not be alone in the real world. Does societal pressure to pair up with people who aren’t really matches doom them to unhappy relationships or repeated relationship failures?
The idea that someone is pushed to find a new partner only days after his wife died seems absurd; then you realize that many people are told that they should only feel sad after so long and “move on”. It is little details like this that make the story emotionally evocative.
There are many insane things people do for love, so the movie’s ending isn’t impossible. Just wish he’d thought to go back to the doctor instead …
If you aren’t about a few of the literally bloody scenes, this thought provoking British horror-comedy is a gem. If you enjoyed “The World’s End” or similar British movies, you’ll like “The Lobster”.