Knowing When To Give Up: Our Review of ‘The Lobster’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - March 25, 2016
Knowing When To Give Up: Our Review of ‘The Lobster’

I know that I am not supposed to be insulted by fiction, but sometimes it is just unavoidable.

The Lobster is an interesting concept that gets ridden into the ground as it just doesn’t have enough legs to make itself into a feature length film.

Set in a non-descript near future scenario where according to the rules of “The City”, single people are arrested and sent to “The Hotel” where they are forced to find a mate or subsequently get turned into the animal of their choosing and released into “The Woods”.  When a desperate man; David (Colin Farrell) is left with nowhere left to turn he flees to where all “The Loners” live and he subsequently falls in love with another “Loner”, but that’s against the rules as well.

An admittedly whip smart and sharp satire on the nature of humanity and who we shoe horn ourselves into relationships, writer/director Yorgos Lanithmos just pushes it all way too far and something that could have been quirky and fun as a short film runs out of steam about half way into its two hour run time because everything just feels so awkward and ridiculous to the point that it’s actually a little insulting because we got the joke a VERY long time ago.  With this being his English language debut I can understand the pressure of trying to get it right but it is all an effort in trying to do too damn much to the point that by the time he escapes into the wilderness, we just don’t give a damn.

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Farrell is solid as the awkward desperate man but his interactions with everyone felt so forced and manufactured it made it hard to care about the story that we were getting.  As he interacted with the likes of the criminally underrated Olivia Colman, John C Reilly and Ben Whishaw there were never any stakes, they were just all dystopianly deadpan with it all and I never really gave a damn because I just wanted it all to be over, and that was only the first half of the movie.  By the time he escapes and hooks up with “The Loners” anything that Lea Seydoux and Rachel Weisz can bring to the table all feels like it has just happened far too late.

Ultimately, it’s an interesting idea but The Lobster is a clear cut example of riding a premise far longer than it was able to go.  The second half of this movie was an absolute slog and while the idea of an 80-85 minute cut of this movie has me intrigued at a whopping 118 minute run time, it was just too easy to dial out of it all.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.

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