Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Lobster (2015) New York Film Festival 2015

Yorgos Lanthimos' latest films has Colin  Farrell's wife divorcing him. This results in him being sent to a weird hotel where he has 45 days to find a new mate or be turned into the animal of his choice, in this case a lobster. Eventually he comes in contact with the Loners who live in the forest who allow social contact but will take drastic steps to prevent anyone from having a relationship.

Weird off kilter film is occasionally nasty, but is almost straight forward, loving and kind when compared to some of the director's earlier films. To be quite honest I despise the director's earlier films which made my liking of this film kind of a bolt out of the blue.

While the film's strangeness seems weird just to be weird, and much of the humor seems forced, there is something about the Colin Farrell character and those he keeps in his orbit that make the film oddly compelling. While not for all tastes the film does raise some interesting questions about the groups of people we encounter every day- namely those with lovers and those who are perpetually alone.

For me the film has one major problem and that is the artificiality of the construction. Lanthimos is definitely manipulating things and the world of the film is very much his world. The problem is that the film's internal logic breaks down the wider the net is cast. Once I accepted the notion of this world where a hotel like this could exist the film casts it's net wider with the inclusion of the Loners who are the exact opposite of the hotels world.  How they interact raises questions about the world off the screen- a problem that gets enlarged when the Loners begin going into the city. Why things are happening is less clear-though it's obvious that the director is simply turning things to make his point. This would be fine except things like the eye doctor visit come out of the blue and make you wonder how it is possible or why some turns that follow happen. With the logic gone the film begins to rapidly collapse in on itself.

Yes I know that's as clear as  mud but I can't tell you whats wrong with the film without explaining the entire film and if I do that, devoid of the performances, you'll think I and the film are mad.

Recommended for the adventurous and the fans of the director. All others are going to wonder what the hell is going on.

The film plays today and tomorrow. For more information and tickets go here.

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