Colin Farrell, Ben Whishaw and Rachel Weisz star in the English-language debut from acclaimed Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth). In a near-future dystopia, singledom is outlawed. Anyone not successfully paired up must report to The Hotel, where they have forty-five days to find a mate; otherwise they’re transformed into an animal of their choosing.
In desperation, paunchy divorcee David (Colin Farrell) – who selects the eponymous crustacean for its lengthy lifespan and fertility – flees, prepared to take his chances with The Loners, forest-dwelling fugitives with their own strict individualistic creed. His international breakthroughs Dogtooth and Alps displayed Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos’s brilliantly inventive dissections of conditioned identity and social oppression, delivered with a distinctive, absurdist comic sensibility. This all-star follow-up (with superb, atypical turns by Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux and John C Reilly) widens the scope while keeping Lanthimos’s ruthless clarity and daring tonal blend of deadpan, surreal humour and quiet horror. Amid dead-on production design and verdant Irish locations, The Lobster is both a bleakly hilarious skewering of fundamentalist diktats and rituals, and a tender plea for genuine intimacy amid society’s self-imposed absurdities. In short, beneath its tough carapace lies the pulsing, tender heart of a fiercely modern love story. Albeit with claws.