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The Lobster (2015)

After watching In Bruges (2008) again earlier this week I’ve found myself in a bit of a “Colin Farrell mood".

Whilst scrolling though all of his film credits on IMDb yesterday I noticed one that I’ve been curious about for a while, and after checking out the trailer I decided to watch it last night.

It’s easily one of the strangest films I’ve ever seen.

The Lobster (2015)

I’m not gonna lie, this won’t be to everyone’s taste but there’s something strangely hypnotising about it.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s a romantic/sci-fi/drama/thriller starring Colin Farrell (Phone Booth), Rachel Weisz (The Mummy), Léa Seydoux (No Time to Die), Olivia Coleman (The Crown), Ben Whishaw (Paddington) and John C. Reilly (Step Brothers) among many others.

The film was co-written and directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Killing of a Sacred Deer).

This is what it’s about according to the internet:

“In a dystopian near future, according to the laws of The City, single people are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in 45 days or they're transformed into an animal of their choice and sent off into the wild.”

I don’t watch a lot of “arty” films. I much prefer the escapism of your typical Hollywood movie. For similar reasons I’m not a huge fan of British films because they tend to be gritty, and dare I say, often depressingly realistic. I’ve said before that when I watch a film I like to be transported away from reality for a little while.

It was the title, cast and interesting premise of this movie that drew me to it, and it certainly carried me away. To where though...? I’m still trying to figure that out…

For the first half an hour or so I was doubting my film choice and was toying with the idea of turning it off and watching something else instead. Everything about it, from the opening scene, the story, the narration by Rachel Weisz, the unnerving score, and the performances are very odd. I thought I’d bitten off more than I could chew with this one but then all of a sudden I found myself settling into it.

The two halves of the film are very different which I think helped to keep me interested. About an hour in, new characters and locations are introduced and the plot takes a dramatic turn.

It’s all very weird but I had to see it through.

Colin Farrell is captivating as David, to the point where you almost forget that you’re watching Colin Farrell and start to believe that he is the character he’s playing (I guess that’s what being a good actor is all about). He gained a bit of weight for this film (40lbs to be exact) and his character is totally different to any other I’ve seen him play to date. I think it was his performance that kept me watching.

The other cast members are all very good too, especially Léa Seydoux who again, like everyone else in this movie plays a completely different type of character to anything I’ve seen her do before.

There are also appearances from Ashley Jensen (Extras, After Life) and Ewan MacIntosh (Keith from The Office).

Filmed in and around the Republic of Ireland (specifically Sneem, County Kerry, Dromore Wood Nature Reserve, Ruan, County Clare and Dublin) the film offers some impressive cinematography, though you could argue that the stunning scenery made director, Yorgos Lanthimos’ job that much easier.

I can’t say I loved this movie but I did enjoy it on a very strange level. It seems to have made an indelible mark on me and I’ve found myself thinking about it a lot today which I always think is a sign of a good film.

Although I probably wouldn’t watch it again (or would I..?) I’m glad I have watched it. It was actually kind of refreshing to watch something so completely different.

There are some fairly distressing and uncomfortable moments but if you’re tolerant and open minded and can appreciate a film for more than its entertainment value I’d recommend this just for the experience.

Like I said though, it’s not for everyone, but if you can make it through the first 30 minutes I think you’ll be as curious as I was to see how it ends. How you interpret the ending (and for that matter, the over all message) is another thing altogether...

There’s really not much more I can say about it without giving too much away.

If you think you might be interested in giving it a go it’s available to rent or buy from Amazon.

Seen it? If you have I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts.

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