The Lobster | ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Thanks to my good friend Scott for writing this great movie review.

The Lobster is to 2016 what the Grand Budapest Hotel was to 2014. While not quite as good, it was just as unique and quirky, yet in totally unrelated ways. The Lobster is a dark dramedy about a society in which single people are a scourge to society. Those that find themselves single for any stretch of time are forced to reside in a resort for 45 days, whereby at the end of those 45 days, if they are still single, they are transformed into an animal of their choice. The protagonist of the story, played strongly by Colin Farrell, is a single man that arrives at the resort to find his match or become an animal, which he elects to become a lobster if he is unsuccessful. The whole scenario at the resort is played out in total deadpan. It includes skits conducted by the staff on the dangers of being single so as to motivate the guests to enter into a relationship. Other quirky elements of this universe include daily hunts where the guests shoot single people that live in the woods with tranquilizers so as to turn them into animals (not of their choice). For each single person you bag, you get a one day extension on your time. All this happens with a degree of seriousness and it is so well thought through that you almost believe such a society could exist.

After our protagonist tries an extreme measure to find a match, he is busted out of the resort to now dwell among the single forest people. The great twist here is that you would think he would find freedom with this new single society. Instead, he finds a whole different set of rigid and quirky rules. A sample of those rules include no kissing or touching longer than a certain time period. Kissing is punishable by tongue mutilation. At no time does anyone ever question why society is the way it is, for both the greater society or forest people. The plot never questions this fact and it makes the story work well. As a viewer, you aren’t cheering for a revolt or a societal change, instead, you are just following the character’s lives as they navigate what is.

The second half of the story with the forest people is a love story. It takes living in a society that punishes togetherness for Colin Farrell to find his love interest, played by Rachel Weisz. How they manage to grow a relationship within the confines of these rules and the ever watchful eye of their ruler is ingenious and engaging. You want to see how they pull it off. No matter what set back they face, and there are some extreme ones, no matter how the rules impact them, they choose love. On a scale of ten, I give it ★★★★★★★★☆☆.

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