Comedy Film Review

'The Lobster' Toronto International Film Festival Capsule Review

September 11, 2015Ben MK

Throughout his movie career, Colin Farrell has played many things: an amnesiac secret agent, a hitman with a death wish, even a time traveler. But in The Lobster, the actor takes on what may very well be his most offbeat role, playing a man who has 45 days to find a mate, otherwise he'll be turned into a lobster.

Yes, the movie is every bit as weird as its premise makes it sound. But somehow co-writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos — in his English-language feature debut — makes it work. Set in a bizarre kind of alternate reality where human coupling is mandatory and where those who choose to remain single must live as fugitive outcasts in the woods, The Lobster is the story of a man named David (Farrell), a recent divorcee who takes up residence at a hotel specializing in two things: partnering up eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, and turning those who "don't make it" into animals. It's only when David flees the hotel and falls in with a band of loners, however, that he meets his true soulmate (Rachel Weisz).

Will the couple be able to find happiness together? Or will the upside-down rules of their dystopian society defeat them in the end? The Lobster is both a love story and an absurdist fairy tale, but one thing it definitely isn't is conventional. Driven by deadpan performances, a classical music score and a dark sense of humor, it's a difficult movie to pin down. But if you absolutely had to put a label on it, it's hard to think of one more appropriate than Logan's Run meets Terry Gilliam.

The Lobster is receiving its North American premiere as part of TIFF 2015's Special Presentations programme. Its runtime is 1 Hr. 59 Min.

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