Crustacean Lovesick Blues
- The Lobster review by Count Otto Black
After the rave reviews, I was hoping for much more than I got. I can see why it won a few prizes: it's the kind of film that gets film festival awards without really appealing to all that many people. It's also very similar to "Dogtooth" from the same director, which had a lot of the same basic themes, but a much richer vein of pitch-black humor, far more imagination, and an ingenious explanation for the utterly skewed world its characters inhabit. But this is a one-dimensional dystopia with absurdly specific rules that blatantly exist purely so that a torturous allegory can be spun from them. I was reminded of those old "Star Trek" episodes where the entire population of a planet have some ludicrous lifestyle such as pretending to be Napoleon, simply so that Captain Kirk can show up and explain how silly they're all being by punching them in the face. I also suspect that this film wouldn't have existed if "The Invention of Lying" hadn't been made first, and that wasn't exactly a masterpiece.
One crucial aspect of the movie, which I notice isn't even hinted at in the trailer, is that everyone is a borderline autistic who delivers almost every line in an emotionless monotone, including a lobotomized-sounding narrator who sometimes tells us in a flat, utterly disinterested voice about things another character has just said word for word. This is perilously close to plain old bad acting, even if they're doing it on purpose, and it wears out its welcome pretty quickly.
Another seemingly vital aspect of the film, which all the publicity material heavily emphasizes, is that the characters inhabit a world where anyone who is for any reason single has 45 days to find a new mate, otherwise they're somehow turned into an animal. This is in fact a cosmetic touch of random weirdness which has absolutely no significant bearing on the plot, though it does allow an otherwise dreary forest to be rendered lazily surreal by having a camel or a flamingo wander by occasionally. If this bizarre gimmick had been replaced by "people who are single for more than 45 days get shot in the head", it would have been the same movie with a less wacky hat on.
Why does any of this happen? If the fantasy world had been better imagined I wouldn't have cared, but it isn't, so I did. Why is everybody obsessed with being part of a couple? Since gay couples are permitted, it's not about the necessity to breed because they're running out of children, and religion is never mentioned once. And what's with the animal transformations that don't matter anyway? Ultimately, who cares? It's weird for the sake of weirdness without being interesting, it's only occasionally funny, its moral is clunkingly obvious and delivered by people who seem to have brain damage, and worst of all, it's pretentious. This is the kind of movie critics love just because it isn't about the Avengers smashing robots. That doesn't automatically make it good.
11 out of 11 members found this review helpful.
Preposterous, pretentious, unfunny Eurotrash fantasy drama
- The Lobster review by PV
This film is called 'The Lobster'. It should be called 'Preposterous pretentious unfunny Eurotrash fantasy drama'. It clearly thinks it is so clever and original - but it really is not. Theatre and film have done all this surrealist absurdist stuff a great many times over the last 100 years.
This is billed as a comedy, Well, no laughs for me, just groans at how AWFUL it all is. Terrible dialogue - written, I see, by Greek non-native English speakers copying drama workshops and many postmodern theatre writers (Becket, Pinter et al).
A shame so many great actors were wasted on this drivel, esp Ben Wishaw.
A fantasy story has to create a willing suspension of belief in the audience. Jurassic Park does that. This pompous film does not.
I see it is state funded by lottery and EU; and is a Euro co-production. No doubt someone had contacts and cash to get this awful film made with our money. But the world really would be a better place without it.
The fantasy setting seems half-Irish and half-French, which is distinctly odd. The Irish accents made me think of Father Ted, and I half-expected some great gags and jokes. There were none. The French is more like it - France has made countless pretentious movies like this over the years.
Boring, unfunny, pretentious, dull and deeply derivative and unoriginal. The only good thing is that I didn't pay money to go and see this at the cinema (which I was considering due to the superlative reviews it got at the time! The film companies and director are obviously very well-connected to film reviewers...)
9 out of 11 members found this review helpful.
Great first half hour but alas....
- The Lobster review by CC
I was hoping for so much more.
This started really well and I was enjoying it up until a point at which I can't discuss without plot spoiling - but it involves animal cruelty and frankly I just found myself appalled.
From that point onwards I found the twist of the plot took the film into seriously tedious and pretentious territory.
I only didn't switch off because I think I was hoping for some sort of denouement which would redeem it.
My hope was in vain.
In summary, there are some decidedly nasty parts in this film which I don't feel it had earned the right to portray because it was so bereft of any soul.
8 out of 8 members found this review helpful.