The Lobster is a peculiar kind of comedy-drama, in which protagonist David (Colin Farrell), a rather despondent-looking Irishman with a dog, checks into a mysterious hotel and is asked several questions by the hotel manager (Olivia Colman), along the lines of questions you’d be asked on a dating site. She underlines the plot in one sentence: “If you fail to fall in love with someone during your stay here, you’ll turn into an animal.” She means this literally, pointing to David’s dog, whom he states is his brother.
The trailer then flips quickly from shot to shot, playing ominous music as David bounces from one slightly unusual, somewhat dangerous, and obviously forced group activity to another, such as a formal dance, a shooting range, and a dip in a jacuzzi. Then David meets Rachel Weisz’s character in the woods, and they strike up a friendship.
The film also stars other big names such as John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux, and Ben Whishaw as various patrons or staff of the hotel and the outcasts surviving in the woods. The film, though set in the near future, feels almost anachronistic in its filtered cinematography, old-fashioned style hotel, and costumes from different decades. Farrell’s David is melancholy and resigned as he goes through the motions required in this dating hotel with a time limit, and encounters some amusing instances along the way to make the film seem endearingly quirky.
“Have you thought what animal you’d like to be if you end up alone?” the hotel manager asks. “Yes,” David replies, “A lobster.”
After winning the Jury Prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, it appears Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos has created a love story set within a satirical and almost morbidly comedic setting.
The Lobster is set to come out in theaters on October 16th.