A Very British Dystopia

The Lobster (2015) has been called controversial, bizarre, an experimental satire – triggering its dystopian roots from the need of society to see us (mis)placed in a certain category, as what belongs to a known category does not threaten the system.

What is tricky is that the entire film dwells upon the “topic” of love.

yorgos-lanthimos-croppedThe Greek Director Yorgos Lanthimos (also co-screenwriter) remarks it crystal clear: you either belong to, and we encourage you to, or you do not exist.

Belonging to, pertaining to a group, even if on the basis of a mere and sole drawback or a flaw is better and more reconforting to the system than being outside it.

All the movie stems from such a statement – a convention that the viewer can accepted or cannot. Once accepted convention, the images replace the narrative and we can see: what happens when myopia, hissing or lame are forced to live in couple?

the-lobster-2The result pictured by Lanthimos in a dystopian society, is that they are brought into a kind of hotel- purgatory, where more are entitled to a final test before being converted into an animal (hence the film’s title, The Lobster being the animal chosed by the protagonist).

The opposite paradigm follows – the underground one – that of beautiful and lonely people led by The Loner Leader played by Lea Seydoux.

When one has already seen half of the film, the moment David meets the beautiful Short-Sighted woman played by Rachel Weisz, one cannot tell: which paradigm should be disavowed first?

lobsterThe social-official one, which tends to defy everything that is not according to its standards, or the individualistic one, which can ask to sacrifice the dearest ones in exchange for your acceptance, or to dig your own tomb. Being a satire, the characters seem to be doomed to glacial roles.

David, the Short-Sighted plump man played by Colin Farrel (he put on 18 kilos for this film) although he seems obedient, he doesn’t respect any of these paradigms till the end of the film, succeeding in finding his soulmate and his own way even though he must lose his sight.


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