I have been waiting a while for The Lobster, a dark dystopian comedy from director, Yorgos Lanthimos, to be released on DVD. It had a limited release and a small run in the theaters, and even though I intended to see it on the big screen, well, I didn’t.
Earlier this week, my prayers (if you believe in that sort of thing) were finally answered.
I didn’t know much about it, other than it was an independent film in my genre. I haven’t seen an artsy-fartsy science fiction film since Ex Machina, so naturally I was really excited to see what this film was all about. A world that turns you into an animal if you can’t find a mate? I mean, COME ON. What a TERRIFIC premise!!
Ok, so we rented the Blu-Ray version of the film and sat down with our 99 cent chicken tacos from Roberto’s. He was drinking beer and I was drinking rose (it IS the season afterall). We started the movie, sat back, and waited for the “time of our indie-movie lives”.
It never came.
Not really, anyway. The movie was definitely interesting, well acted, and beautiful to watch. But...it lacked pizazz. I kept waiting for the tempo of the film to “kick it up a notch,” but, with the exception of a few scenes here and there, the pace stayed the same throughout the film. There were also a TON of dramatic pauses, moments throughout the film that dragged on just a little too long.
Don’t get me wrong. I think these were stylistic choices, made by the director, to draw parallels to the dystopian society where the story is set. From an artistic perspective, I can appreciate the message, and I know that for some, thought-provoking art is preferred.
I’m not on that side of the fence. I like to be entertained, first and foremost. If a film is TOO intellectual, it takes me out of the story and into my head. And well, that’s just not how I want to spend my time. When I’m not working (and even sometimes when I am), I want to feel good, happy, and well, care-free.
So yes, while The Lobster was an artistically smart and compelling film, it was just a little too slow for me at times. Also, it’s acceptable for narrative to be difficult to follow in the beginning and even middle of the story...BUT I shouldn’t be asking myself (or rather my husband which is undoubtedly annoying) “what does that mean?” close to the END of the film. I should already know the nuances and general language of the lead characters, as well as the movie’s overall theme. For The Lobster, this was a challenge.
I know what you’re thinking - I’m not going to recommend seeing this film...but you’re WRONG!! It may not have been my favorite of the summer, but it’s still really good and worth a watch. Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz are impeccable. Watch it if only for them.
And the story. The story’s really great too.