Just last week, in my English class that centers around boredom, my professor played the 2015 film The Lobster for three consecutive classes. Everyone was thrilled, of course, to know that the class would start off with a movie instead of long lectures on what we should expect of the class and the outcomes of it. Even though I had never heard about such movie, the thought of sitting in class to watch a film on the first week of school was too appealing for me to complain. However, we were in for quite a surprise once the movie began and we slowly realized that it was not the typical, cliche movie Hollywood so often feeds its audience. Although this was a bit of a relief, it was terrifying to piece together the strange yet intriguing plot, characters and story of the movie as it progressed, in a very strange way I might add.
Set in a dystopian society where love is manufactured and determined by similarities, the narrator, who goes by the name of David, is forced to move to a hotel where single people are given 45 days to find a mate or else be turned into an animal of their choice. As strange as this sounds for us, it is the reality of the society within the film, where everyone must be married in order to live within the city and have decent jobs and lives. If you happen to be single, the only way of living a good life is to seek a mate in one of the hotels designated to partner up their guests.
More than the plot itself, the movie’s film director does an amazing job of placing the actors and the camera in every scene in a way that portrays the gruesome and eeriness that the plot is trying to convey. The scenography is very symmetrical, with different scenes having people right down the middle of them. There are also very extreme differences in the shapes between the scenes in the woods - the main character joins a group of loners who refuse to join the mating hotels - and the city that they visit once in a while for supplies. The scenes in the city are filled with isolation and it becomes hard to stand out in such dull, gray spaces. In contrast, the woods have abstract shapes that give a more romantic atmosphere, one where many things can happen but those things can bring about dangerous consequences.
There is an idea of something missing, absent from the protagonist, David, and the rest of the characters who are all pretty much plain and basic. Their characters are not complexed and because of this the movie can be very boring. However, the moments of great contrast, either with too much violence or too much sex, that happen randomly throughout the movie are what keeps the audience at the edge of their seats and wondering how was it that society got to this point. The space between people and the protection of what holds us together as human beings is what the movie is trying to fight for. The part of us that makes us human and maintains our humanity, which in the movie is lost with something as simple as not finding a mate within a certain amount of days.
I hope this small review does not spoil the movie too much but rather gives a bit of insight into the themes and goals of the film. I will not lie, the movie is probably the most dull and boring I have seen in a while and at the same time, the most suspenseful and important one when it comes to analyzing our society. I would recommend watching it if you like films with deeper meanings that depict evil things in a society that may not be too different or far from our own.