(director/writer: Yorgos Lanthimos; screenwriter: Efthimis Filippou; cinematographer: Thimios Bakatakis; editor: Yorgos Mavropsaridis; music: Amy Ashworth; cast: Colin Farrell (David), Rachel Weisz (Short Sighted Woman), Lea Seydoux (Loner Leader), Jessica Barden (Nosebleed Woman), Olivia Colman (Hotel Manager), Ashley Jensen (Biscuit Woman), Ariane Labed (The Maid), Angeliki Papoulia (Heartless Woman ), John C. Reilly (Lisping Man), Michael Smiley (Loner Swimmer), Ben Whishaw (Limping Man); Runtime: 118; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Ceci Dempsey, Yorgos Lanthimos; A Film 4Element Pictures; 2015-Greece-Ireland-U.K.-Netherlands-France-in English, some French)
” I just had no appetite for something I found under-cooked and unappealing.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Greek writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos (“Dogtooth”/”Alps”) shoots his first film in English. The deadpan comedy satire is a cynical absurdist fable on love and marriage. The surreal comedy will appeal to a cult crowd. But its droll humor has its limits.
The twisted plot tells us in the near future being single will not be tolerated. The rules give a single person an allotted time to find a mate or they will be transformed into any animal they choose. When Colin Farrell, playing a sadsack named David, is faced with this choice, he chooses the Lobster. David stays at a hotel where the imperious hotel manager (Olivia Colman) supervises his progress. Some of the hotel guests, in the same predicament, who must find partners or become animals, include the Lisping Man (John C. Reilly). the Limping Man (Ben Whishaw) and the Heartless Woman Angeliki Papoulia.
Outside the hotel walls, in a forest, a renegade escapee group from the New Order, known as loners, are able to lead celibate lives under the direction of their intense leader (Lea Seydoux). David, despite the rigid rules for the loners, joins them and begins a romance with the short-sighted woman (Rachel Weisz).
If I was supposed to laugh, I found its black humor not funny. If there was a deeper meaning, I didn’t get it. It seemed to be a novelty film that served as its main dish something weird. I just had no appetite for something I found under-cooked and unappealing.
REVIEWED ON 6/20/2016 GRADE: C