The first half of The Lobster is bloody brilliant. It’s a dark comedy set in absurd near future dystopia where single men and women must attend a hotel (ran by the always fantastic Olivia Coleman) designed to pair them up. If they fail to find a partner within forty-five days, they are sentenced to transformation into an animal of their choosing. The first half is bursting with fantastic ideas, and while the satire of modern relationships and dating is sometimes a bit too direct, the sheer creativity ensures it’s always enjoyable to watch. The performances really are great too – I particularly enjoyed John C. Reilly.
The second half of The Lobster is okay. While I appreciate the idea of making each half of the film a satire on different social expectations about relationships (the first half on dating, the second half on being single and defining your identity solely through that), it really does feel like Lanthimos just ran out of ideas in the second half. It drags on and on, vastly past the point where it felt clever and funny. Rachel Weisz makes a fine co-lead, but little of the creativity and humour of the first half can be found in the second, and the broader point the film is making in the second half just isn’t substantial enough to warrant so much time. If the first half was the same quality as the second half it would still be an enjoyable and clever film, but the way the first half so clearly outclasses the second makes watching the film ultimately somewhat disappointing.
give it three identical dresses, and a steak knife.