Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Lobster

I loved The Lobster. It's a grim, eerie, dystopian horror movie, about a world where being a couple is enforced -- with methodical, regimented cruelty.

It takes place in hotel where uncoupled men and women spend a certain number of days. During that time they must fall in love with someone and begin a highly controlled romantic ritual that leads to marriage. Those who do not find a partner are turned into animals at the end of their stay. Also, there are rogue individuals in the woods who have escaped. Here independence is valued and people are not allowed to form romantic attachments. If they do, they are mutilated. Groups from the hotel go on hunting expeditions to kill these individuals, and if they bring back a body they get another day added to their stay.

The Lobster is in some ways an extended mood piece. The lack of expressed emotion, the stilted speech coming from near automatons, the sense of dread and looming violence all make the movie oppressive, strangely suspenseful, and deeply frightening. As the narrative takes shape and builds momentum you see how trapped, isolated, and doomed everyone is. I think it's a masterpiece.

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