"Bizarre, Depressing Humanist Satire"
What You Need To Know:
THE LOBSTER is an allegory, exploring ideas of love and how people find it. It asks what would happen if society changed all the rules about romance. As such, it’s an absurdist satire. However, after some amusing moments, the second half becomes very disturbing, hopeless and nihilistic. The movie has a strong humanist worldview with lots of disturbing violence and lewd content. THE LOBSTER seems designed to attack traditional notions of courtship and romance but offers no real alternatives.
(HHH, PCPC, LLL, VVV, SSS, NN, A, MM) Very strong humanist, holistic, absurdist, depressing worldview mixed with a search for romantic love in an oppressive society where single people are turned into animals and other creatures if they can’t find a mate in 45 days, with some inklings of a politically correct attack on traditional ideas of romance and marriage, but movie offers no real or satisfying alternatives or solutions; 29-32 obscenities and profanities (no “f” words); some very strong and strong, often disturbing violence includes a woman shooting a donkey non-graphically in the opening scene, man captures two rabbits, and some blood is shown along with their carcasses later, man disturbingly smashes his head into a table so that his nose bleeds in order to match the nosebleed of a woman and declare himself a match for her, a woman who tried to jump to her death is heard begging for help but gets ignored as the movie shows her body twitching with blood coming out, bloody dog’s corpse is seen with its blood also on a woman’s shoes as she tells a man she kicked the dog to death because it used to be his brother, woman mocks and imitates the dog’s dying whimpers to be even more cruel to the dog’s human brother, man kicks a little girl in the leg for no reason but to induce laughs from viewers, woman stabs a man in the leg but it’s not bloody or graphic, a man is forced to have his hand inside a hot toaster as punishment for engaging in self-abuse, man holds a knife up to his eyeballs and appears ready to gouge them out though the actual act is unseen, man watches uncaringly while a woman chokes to death on an olive, a few scenes of humans being hunted down in a forest by people using tranquilizer darts; extreme sexual content includes depicted fornication, a woman in two different scenes sits on a man’s clothed lap and rubs against him in an offensive way intended to be humorous, a couple touches each other all over their clothes while kissing intensely as many people sit around them at a house party, disturbing discussion about sex, and references to self-abuse; rear female nudity and partial upper female nudity in one scene; characters drink alcohol throughout movie; no smoking or illegal drugs; and, some strong miscellaneous immorality includes people are very callous toward other people who are clearly in distress and man has no lips because they were cut off for kissing a woman.
THE LOBSTER is the story of a man in a near-future dystopian society, who has 45 days to find a new life partner or be turned into a lobster, and his attempt to break out of his hopeless situation. A bizarre, allegorical tale, THE LOBSTER has a very strong, depressing, dispiriting humanist worldview with lots of disturbing violence and lewd content, all of which seem designed to attack traditional ideas of courtship and romance without offering any real alternatives.
The movie follows a man named David (Colin Farrell), who has just been dumped by his wife. In his society, single people have only 45 days to find true love or be turned into the animal of their choice and released into the woods. While he searches for a new partner, he’s kept in a mysterious hotel and tries to match up with several women who are psychological disasters before escaping into the woods.
In the woods, David meets a rebel group called the Loners and falls for a woman (Rachel Weisz), despite the fact the group completely rejects romance. As the two flee from both their society and the Loners, they are put in grave danger.
THE LOBSTER tries to be an allegory, exploring ideas of love and how people find it, and asking what would happen if society changed all the rules about finding love. It also aims to be an absurdist, or ridiculous, comedy. However, after a sometimes amusing first half, it’s highly disturbing and winds up as a nihilistic downer that’s impossible to commend.
Among its many disturbing moments are a scene where people disregard a woman who’s screaming in pain after jumping off a building and slowly dying, a scene where a man is about to gouge his eyes out with knives, and one where a bloody dog’s body is seen as a woman mocks its dying whimpers. Add in perverse sex and a generally misanthropic and depressing attitude toward life, and THE LOBSTER is a movie that’s an absurdist, dispiriting mess. As noted above, it seems to be a satirical, politically correct attack on traditional ideas of courtship and romance without offering any real alternatives.
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