`The LOBSTER is a fable, a form of cinema I enjoy. The promise of the film isn't matched by the film's execution. Although the movie is marketed as a comedy, perhaps a romantic comedy, its anything but. The premise is simple. In some parallel universe, all adults must be coupled. Even a few days after the death of a spouse, you must go to a resort, where you have 45 days to find a mate. This mate must have in common with you, your defining characteristic, like a nice smile, a nose bleed, or myopia. Some people fake their commonalty, and are transformed into an animal that no one will love. The whole point of being transformed, if you don't find a mate, is at least you'll have the possibility of being loved as a pet. Those who don't respond to the resort, are runners, who live in the woods single, although they are loosely grouped for protection. The resort guests often hunt the single people in the wood with tranquilizer darts. When they're knocked out, they're brought back to the resort, and transformed into animals. Several transformed humans live in the woods with the runners, such as camels, pigs, flamingoes, and other odd creatures.
There you have it. Within that symbolic stew, the central story is cooked up between Colin Farrell, and Weisz. Somehow, in the midst of the avant guarde classical music soundtrack, the dry unemotional delivery, and people faking their "defining characteristics" just to have a mate at any cost, the movie becomes bogged down . Watching an entire film, where everybody is either acting psychopathic, emotionally distant or with complicated symbolic gestures instead of words, is taxing. Although we should root for Colin Farrell, somehow we can't. Nobody in the film has the courage to be genuine, or to care. The people always dress the same, in business suits, with little variety. Their discomfort with themselves, becomes ours. If the film has a message, its that there is no love, neither with the couples matched at the resort, in normal society, or in the woods with the runners. Its one of the most bleak, stilted, and passionless worlds imaginable. The realism of the characters is constantly sacrificed for the sake of the overarching fable. Even when Farrell and Weisz want to communicate, they do so with complicated hand signals. Along with this, the film is narrated by Weisz from her diary, adding to the distance thru her deadpan delivery.
The entire effect of the movie is one of emptiness, despair, where people dig their own graves, at best hoping someone will throw dirt on their faces when they die, so the wolves don't eat them.. Since nothing in the film, is even remotely human in emotional content, it makes for a very intellectual experience, but not much else. Apparently the Lobster, being a cold blooded sea creature, that people don't love but eat, is how the director wants us to view Farrell. And thru Farrell, the human condition. Everybody is alone, and at best will fake common ground to produce a relationship based on lies. Compassion or love of any kind is unknown. How in the world is that a comedy? Even the ending is tragic. The best fables, will reveal hidden layers of the human condition. The surreal content should reinforce the premise that underlines the fable. Even as a fable, the film just doesn't work, since the childlike simplicity of the fable is missing. That dry, analytical, emotionally flat behavior of everybody, where everything is more of a ritual than an action, breaks apart our connections to the characters. How much truth is there, in seeing the world like that? Love doesn't exist. Only depressed, cold hearted narcissistic people, no more individual than a Lobster.