The Lobster (2016): An Unconventional Love Story

Posted: June 4, 2016 in Comedy, Drama, Romance

Being single is no longer an acceptable practice in society. If not partnered by a certain age, single people are taken to a special hotel to find a mate in 45 days or be turned into the animal of their choice. For David, his time to discover love is now. After his brother failed to meet the deadline, he wishes to avoid the same fate and sets his sights on three different women. Befriending a couple of other men, they discover their matchmaking will not be that easy. Forcing partnerships seems like the only way to avoid their animalistic fate, but it still seems more preferable than being hunted the wild as a single person.

Sterilized Romance: While the hotel was focused on helping people find an ideal mate, the partnering process had been stripped down to seemingly practical methods. Partners with similar physical ailments were matched together because they could sympathize with each other. Guests at the hotel received regular reminders of why the single life was dangerous or wrong. This theme carried throughout the film, as even the slightly more life-filled city seemed a little too serene and calm, with police ensuring that no one was ever left standing around alone.

It’s Truly Tough to Be Single: While the growing sense of dread of running out of time was strong enough at the hotel, life as a single person outside of it was even more devastating. Living in the woods (like animals), single people had to come to grips with choosing to break away from the new societal norms and vow to remain single at all costs. This also meant they were hunted by the guests of the hotel (like animals). Getting captured was the end of their lives, which led them to come to terms with the possibility of death coming for them at any time.

The Evolution of the Belief in Love: One of the truly amazing elements of this film is the way it explores the evolution of David’s understanding of love. It was a life or death situation at the beginning, where even his choice in animal focused on the possibility of a long life. When he became an outcast at the hotel and ended up with the single people in the woods, he locked eyes with the Short-Sighted Woman and finds an instant attraction. This eventually leads to both of them rediscovering what it means to truly care for someone. Feeling like the only two who are out of place, they devise a plan to try to run off and start a life together.

Final Verdict: This is truly a strange one. The acting is on point and the concept is complex and meaningful, but it is somewhat hurt by how consistently drab the overall environment feels. Even in the moments where true love starts to seep in, the world around the main characters feel overly grey. Much of this can be overlooked but it still feels a little too niche for a more general audience.

Dan’s Verdict: 3.5/5


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