The Lobster is a wacky but suspenseful psychological thriller about humanity’s core flaws shown through a society built entirely on relationships. The film follows apathetic loner David (Colin Farrell) as he enters a dating show where participants have 45 days to find a life-long partner before they are mandatorily transformed into an animal of their choosing. He goes to a high-end hotel to mingle with other participants, who are treated to expensive lifestyles and lavish foods. After a failed matchup where he turns a cruel suitor who kicked his brother-turned-dog to death into an animal herself, he runs away to the loners, where he finds more personal freedom at the cost of partnership. While there, he finds a woman near-sighted like him (Rachel Weisz), and they fall in love. Knowing that they will be punished if found, they plan to escape the loners’ encampment as well, only for things to go awry even further. The two must push on despite the personal costs if they truly want to live together freely. The film demonstrates humanity’s desire for order and control, stripping away small talk and fluffy dialogue in favor of a bluntly curt speech pattern to illustrate this world’s elementary mating and human connection traditions cruelty.
The film is incredibly unsettling not entirely due to the events, but because of how the main characters operate in reaction. Some of the inner happenings and questions remain unanswered by the end, but watching these characters adapt to their peculiar situations is mesmerizing and freaky. David is extremely apathetic to most, making him a perfect candidate to follow––only for the stakes to further intensify once he is finally affected. Through his future partner’s narration, viewers become the listeners to her retelling of these events, adding a personal pull in a world where being personal seems impossible. The film’s curt dialogue further reinforces this strangeness, as everyone is both direct about rules and punishment towards others but completely internally shunned. No one has emotions or organically says anything; it is all intentionally forced to stick to the roles assigned, where couples build societies and loners destroy them. Though a bit jumpy and discombobulating, The Lobster will surely perplex with all of its abnormalities, making for a fairly satiating thought feast.