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Sundance Film Festival: Colin Farrell not enough to save "The Lobster"
by JENNIFFER WARDELL
Jan 28, 2016 | 6217 views | 0 0 comments | 565 565 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo courtesy of Alchemy
Photo courtesy of Alchemy
slideshow

Not rated, but there are some sexual acts, a suicide, and a surprising amount of violence

Written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

Starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Ben Whishaw, John C. Reilly, Olivia Colman and more

Grade: 

Sounding deep is not the same thing as actually being deep.

Sadly, that's the biggest take away from "The Lobster," a satire of modern relationships and society that tries to be piercing but eventually devolves into nothing more than a meaningless tangle of affectation. Though that fact could be seen as the ultimate commentary on both – it's all just pointless talk that doesn't mean anything – I refuse to give them credit for something your average Adam Sandler movie achieves equally well.

The movie is set in a society where everyone is legally required to be in a relationship, and if you're single for more than 45 days you're either turned into an animal of your choice or have to run away to live in the woods. Also, everyone speaks in a near monotone for some reason, and think that a good marriage depends on having one thing in common (nearsightedness, nosebleeds, etc.)

No in-universe reason is given for any of this, and there's no crafting towards a larger theme. The tone of the movie is as monotone as the character's voices, with every detail given exactly the same weight and emotional intonation. Any kind of deeper commentary is lost in the general awkward oddness, with occasional bursts of shocking violence meant to make the audience even more uncomfortable. So not only is there no greater meaning, it's also unpleasant to watch.

The ending is the final nail in the proverbial coffin, leaving audiences hanging in a way that was clearly meant to be thought-provoking but seems like the worst kind of cop-out. If the filmmakers couldn't even commit to telling a complete story, audiences shouldn't have to commit to sitting through it. 

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