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The Lobster

Colin Farrell plays David, who is recently divorced and has checked into a hotel that has its sole purpose to pair people. Those who do not couple within 45 days turn into an animal of their choice (David chooses to be a lobster, because he loves the sea, lobsters live to 100, and they are fertile for their entire lives). Ultimately he escapes and joins the Loners, a group of people who are completely “happy” being single (and who the hotel guess shoot with stun guns on regular hunts). This movie is very, very strange, and I loved it. It is really funny, but I recognize that the film is probably best appreciated by those with a strange sense of humor. Some of what takes place in the movie is totally whacky but at a parallel level completely recognizable to those who are sensitive to the pressures people feel to be coupled and around dating. And the story certainly doesn’t glorify the single life either (the fact that the “couplers” and the Loners are essentially at war with each other provides the story with a lot of its humor). There are so many things that happen in the movie that may not register immediately but once they do it is followed by a flash of insight (such as the opening and closing scenes – both are very odd but also make complete sense). This gets a big thumb’s up from me. I don’t think it is a perfect movie –the last half of the film gets bogged down – but I found it absolutely delightful dark dystopian satire. It is also very well acted. My best guess is that those who like dark humor and who like filmmakers who take risks will like this one. I heard the woman next to me complain several times that she did not like the movie, and it seemed her husband did.  And that about sums up the verdict: This is one of those movies you probably will either really like or really dislike. (2015; 4 stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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