Loaded with critical acclaim and on many critics Top Ten of 2016 lists, THE LOBSTER seemed like it was going to be a crazy David Lynch-like trip and some interesting fun.
The concept is certainly interesting.
It's the near future.
According to the laws of The City, single people are taken to The Hotel, a large seaside resort in the European countryside.
Once they arrive, they have 45 days to fall in love and find a new partner or they are turned into the animal of their choice and released in The Woods.
OK, you have my attention, that could be fun...
Colin Farrell plays David, a lonely businessman whose wife has left him. As we meet him, he and his brother (who is now a dog because he didnt find a new love) are headed to The Hotel, so we can experience his welcome and hear all the rules alongside him.
The always funny John C. Reilly (Chicago, Anchorman) plays The Lisping Man, looking for a new mate and anxious to make friends with David. They become fast friends with The Limping Man, well played by Ben Whishaw (Q in Skyfall and Spectre).
Strange rules abound, with the guests able to earn extra days by hunting down The Loners in The Woods, people who have escaped The Hotel and are living on their own.
When David falls in love with one of The Loners, his choices become even more complicated.
Rachel Weisz is very good as the Loner Woman of David's desire. You can't ever quite get an angle on her motivations or her commitment, and that's a good thing.
Writer/Director Yorgos Lanthimos is obviously going for a comedy/drama vibe with heavy overlays of social statements about our perceptions of love and relationships.
There are moments that are funny, some moments that are horrifyingly brutal, even horrific.
The cast plays it strangely, with every line delivered in an emotionless cadence and basic human interactions on a third grade level.
About an hour into the movie, Tamara walked in and said "Is it good?"
I said 'It's either brilliant or crap. I'm an hour in and I cant decide which."
Let me save you two hours. It's crap.
At least it was to me.
I have loved some films in recent years like Von Trier's "Melancholia" and Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" that I'm sure many people watched and thought "what garbage", these types of films are very subjective.
I admire films that stretch the norm to find something to say through drama or humor, but I have to connect with them in some way.
Other than several moments with David in The City and his anguish over the horrible death of his brother (the dog) there is nothing to connect with, which is all, I am sure, part of Lanthimos' intent to make us consider emotions etc etc.
Let me save you the two hours that I can't have back. THE LOBSTER is decidedly overcooked and unpleasant to consume.
And that ending...I wanted to poke my eyes out. If you watch this mess you'll understand why. I hope you never know.
I'll give it a D to give the cast some credit for their admirable efforts.