Director and screen writer: Yargos Lanthimos. Who is he?
Y. Lanthimos: a Greek film director, film producer, screenwriter, photographer, and theatre director. He has received four Academy Award nominations for his work including the Best Original Screenplay for The Lobster (2015),
Synopsis: almost two hours of a film in the language of Shakespeare which is tracing the incongruous twist and turns of David, the protagonist of the film. Depicted as a single man, he has only 45 days to find a suitable partner otherwise he would be transformed into a lobster. What happened to David? Is he transformed into a lobster?
Genre: this film can be categorized as an absurdist dystopian black comedy.
Its absurdist aspect takes its legitimacy from many elements in the film such as the absence of meaningful actions. In fact, there are some scenes which are deprived of logical link. We can find difficulty to find a logical explanation to some scenes like that of hunting. Dark humor is also present in the movie; we can remember the scene of the up skirted maid who tries hard to seduce David to copulate.
Unlike other films which bring its audience to a better world, the Lobster has nothing to do with an ideal society. The film is characterized by dehumanization. In fact, there are many shocking scenes especially that when David’s partner kills unmercifully his dog leaving it sinking in its blood. So, it is a dystopian movie par excellence.
In its opening, David, Colin Farrell, in a wonderful performance listens passively to the off-screen voice of a girlfriend, telling him it’s over. The next scene shows David escorted to a hotel after his wife has cheated him with another man. The hotel manager announces that single people have 45 days to find a partner otherwise they will be turned into an animal of their choice. Our protagonist chooses to become a lobster. David makes acquaintances with Robert, a man with a lisp, and John, a man with a limp, who become his quasi-friends.
The hotel has many rules to be obeyed by the guests. Masturbation and smoking are banned. Love hunters can extend their deadline by hunting. The more they hunt, the more they stay at the hotel.
David later decides to court a cold-blooded woman. Their initial conversation is accompanied by the screams of an agonizing woman, who has jumped from a first floor window. David pretends to enjoy the woman’s suffering to gain the heartless woman’s interest. He later joins her in a Jacuzzi where she feigns choking on an olive to test him. Noticing that he makes no reaction to help her, she decides that they are a match, and the two are shifted to the couples’ suite. Telling him that she has killed his brother “the dog”, David doesn’t prevent himself from crying. She, immediately, realizes that their match is fake and tries to drag him to the hotel manager to have him penalized. However, he escapes the hotel and joins the loners in the woods. In contrast to the hotel, they forbid any kind of romance, which is punishable by mutilation. David, who is short-sighted, begins a secret relationship with a woman who is also short-sighted. They develop a gestural language they use to communicate. They are taken on a mission to the city, where are required to appear as lovers, which they secretly enjoy. The story doesn’t end here and a lot of thrilling actions will take place in the second part of the movie.
The film is divided into two sections with different settings and characters. Throughout the first part, you can feel a lot of weird emotions and this is due to the gloomy and absurd aspect of some scenes. Many of them may appear shocking as they contradict our human nature. One of the most shocking scene and can even push you to stop watching is that when David shows no empathy to an agonizing woman. He is even annoyed by her voice when she is crying out loud in pain. He also refuses to be kissed by the girl Elizabeth. He calls her “idiot” and hits her. The screenwriter wants to draw our attention to the atrocity of the modern society in which we live. We are no longer paying attention to our moral principles but to our superficial image (the how to be perceived by others). So, David is an epitome of the modern man. He pretends to be what is not just to be accepted by the woman and be socially confirmed. In fact, all guests are asked to find a mate, with whom they share superficial traits such as minor ailments, believing this is the key to compatibility.
Lanthimos, focuses on the rotten society and all the vanished human principles like sympathy, compassion and love. Throughout the film, these traits are manipulated and controlled. As a matter of fact, feelings are no longer spontaneous. Yet, they are programmed and planned. This can remind us of social media and its influence on modern people. They are no longer spontaneous. They feign happiness just to be socially accepted. We can take the example of Instagram and its stories
BY Ameera MASROUR