I was expecting a light-hearted satire on romantic relationships, but this is the most dark and disturbing movie I’ve seen in years. The film is co-written and directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. He is Greek, and this is his first English-language movie. Although it’s intermittently humorous, the film is quite violent and often drags. I don’t even know what it was trying to convey, although it may be a metaphor about racism. If that’s the case, “Zootopia” did it much better.
David’s (Colin Farrell) girlfriend has just ended their relationship, so he travels with his dog to a seemingly-nice resort to meet a new mate. David has 45 days to pick a new partner. If he fails, he will be turned into the animal of his choice. We soon learn that David’s dog is his brother, who apparently failed to find a suitable partner. On the initial interview at the resort, David chooses to become a lobster if he fails to couple up. This seems like a fun movie at first, but it soon takes a very dark turn.
We soon realize that it’s not just an isolated resort helping people to pick a suitable match. This futuristic society, in addition to having the technology to turn humans into animals, has made being single a crime. The residents of the resort are forced to go hunting for loners who failed to find a mate and escaped becoming an animal. The residents are armed with tranquilizing dart guns so they can capture a loner. Each loner that a hotel resident captures gives him/her an extra day at the resort to find their mate, so the residents may have longer than 45 days to become a couple.
The matches are made on the most absurd criteria, such as a limping man coupling off with a limping woman. All the singles are desperate to avoid being turned into an animal. Once a mate is chosen, there is a four-week trial period (with 2 weeks on a yacht) to see if the relationship will work. If they have conflict, a child (of no relation and of any age) is tossed in to “help.”
Realizing he won’t couple off, David flees the resort and meets “a short-sighted woman” (Rachel Weisz). David and the woman fall in love and soon start breaking the rules.
If one considers the couples to be one race, and the loners the other race, the film shows how each group discriminates and devalues the other group… but so what! I won’t say anymore about the plot in case any of you decide to see it, but, as far as I’m concerned, “The Lobster” is a dog!