Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Lobster (2015)

When hotel staff acted for guests the reasons to find a mate – since I can’t remember ever hearing the word marriage – it made me understand what the story is about. 

Until then I was too busy running through a list of options, already missing clues in front of me. I went from murder mystery to self improvement to romance.  While there was talk of relationship I could not lock into romance because everyone acted so lifeless, mechanical.

The female staff pretended to do the Heimlich on a male staff pretending to choke on dinner as if to say a mate is there to take care of you. In reverse the male staff rescued the woman to show that having a mate is protection.  Simplistic arguments with a familiar ring to it since I am sure a relative had already presented the same to me in making their case: “why aren’t you married yet?”

David (Colin Farell) is the lobster. In this hotel, or centre (or the world they live in), the guests are made to choose an animal which they will be transformed into should they fail to find a mate at the prescribed time.  Ironically this ‘transformation’ is a caring act since once transformed finding a mate will be easier. David chose the lobster though dogs are the popular choice.

At first I thought the animal reference was figurative, like Native American spirit guides.  I assumed finding mates needed a matching of animals which is why I ignored the dog at the very start of the movie thinking it was a pet.  Turns out it was David’s brother.

When I realized this way out of single life to become an animal was literal I became more confused.  Thinking the view absurd and now having whiff of science fiction, I was searching for reasons why this make believe earth would have such a view.  I was looking for aliens among other things, including psychoanalyzing the writer.  Did my aunt write this movie? Who thinks like this?

The Lobster is every unattached, single, uncommitted person’s nightmare discussion at parties and reunions: “Why aren’t you married yet?”  Of course in this world it’s a requirement not a question.  There’s no polite way out.  Arguments are as crazy as those made by relatives who dare ask the question.

Find similar traits to get the ideal mate.  Live in together.  If there’s trouble have a child.  Having long distant vacation is the true test of the relationship.  It really felt like I heard it all before.  Loners (is what they call single people) do nothing all day but listen to music and masturbate.  To my amazement they actually do: even amidst fellow loners they listen alone with earphones in the forest, and they just masturbate.

The only argument I did not hear was knock up a girl - yes I have been advised such - and raise or help raise the child.  In this world apparently even single life due to separation is frowned upon. One character's divorced mother was turned into a wolf.

Even when I finished it all I don’t know what the movie is supposed to be.  If it’s a comedy I didn’t laugh; if it’s romance I did not feel the love. Sarcasm, any emotion would have gone a long way but like the characters I did not feel anything.  The reason I went way off thinking it was a murder mystery because of the narration heard in the background, as if David was tracing his brother’s movements. 

One thing’s for sure I feel what I always feel when the question is asked, it killed the romance out of me. Was that point?

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