It may be based on universal human anxieties about love, relationships, compatibility and loneliness, but Filippou’s script takes on a defiant, prickly life of its own, refusing to play as an easy allegory.
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Yes, The Lobster is arch: this is cinema in quotemarks, tongue-in-cheek storytelling that uses absurdity to hold a mirror to how we live and love. At its best, it has incisive things to say about how we shape ourselves and others just to banish the fear of being alone, unloved and friendless.
Though at times almost too peculiar for its own good, The Lobster brings Lanthimos' distinct blend of morbid, deadpan humor and surrealism to a broader canvas without compromising his ability to deliver another thematically rich provocation.
Lanthimos presents a fully formed original vision that hits a perfect tone even when the narrative begins to get away from him a bit.
A wickedly funny protest against societal preference for nuclear coupledom that escalates, by its own sly logic, into a love story of profound tenderness and originality.
Lanthimos has broadened his scope and has created a marvellously bleak, bizarre comedy.
A richly rewarding but often very disturbing, even harrowing work.
In the end, all the strangeness adds up towards something genuinely significant: an atypically rich and substantial comedy that's stuffed with great scenes and performances even before you start to chew on its bigger questions.
It’s an adventure which begins by being bizarre and hilarious but appears to run out of ideas at its mid-way point, and run out of interest in what had at first seemed to be its central comic image: humans turning into animals.
Every frame has been composed with cerebral coolness, and the hotel and its surrounding forests are shot with a dream-like lucidity. I haven’t seen anything quite like it before, and I’m still not sure that I have even now. This is the kind of film you have to go back to and check it really happened.