Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

The Paradoxical Nature of The Lobster

While it is hard to recommend Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster to others, the film is a romantic comedy about a man who has to deal with being an arthropod. Even though it is too realistic, David—the protagonist—is the only person with a real name in the film. It is because of Colin Farrell’s portrayal of a hunchbacked individual with a hideous mustache. His wife moved and married another man.

While sitting sadly on a sofa, he only has one question for her: whether she wears glasses or contact lenses. Besides Lanthimos also writing it, The Lobster is a cruel but funny film. The setting occurs in a world where everyone who has not found their “match” will become an animal. So sharp that it cuts our wrists. However, we can choose which animal. To help singles find friends, the government built a scary “hotel.”

If, after 45 days, we do not find our mate, we have to start selecting scales or feathers. With some very unflattering moments, the great Greek directorial English debut showcases black humor. Unnatural as it is, the film is an excellent meditation on relationships in the dating app era. It is a dystopian allegory of the human urge to find a partner.

Merciless Realism

Getting married is a choice. A girl staying at a hotel with her closest friends plays “single” regarding boarding, commitment, and sexual attraction. The police admit that there is no other kind of love than romance. David has a loyal dog who always accompanies him to motels. Formerly, the dog was also his brother, who had missed his 45-day deadline two years earlier. According to the hotel management, dogs are very popular with humans, which explains why so many of them exist.

Species are riskier because fewer people enjoy them. Meanwhile, David says he wants to be a lobster because they have blue blood and are “like royalty” because they can live for 100 years and still bear fruit. Straight away, the fact that The Lobster provides a solid foundation. Lanthimos renders every grisly detail of an imaginary world with merciless realism. Couples are forced to mutilate themselves to force the competition because they lack defining characteristics, such as beautiful hair or a limp, in a society where the romantic sexual union is the only kind of selfless love the characters receive, such a strict notion of love makes perfect sense despite the rather strict hotel rules.

Upholding Societal Norms

The intercom wakes up visitors and reminds them how many days are left. In addition to matching dull outfit sets, each has a tranquilizer rifle and 20 darts. The latter is for visitors’ frequent excursions to the nearby forest. There, they will pursue “loners,” singles who eschew society’s marriage requirements. A man who eats alone can choke on his food. However, a married man will be saved.

Men will be able to rape women. However, married women have protection, according to the pantomime performances that hotel personnel put on to promote shared values. Society’s pressure on people to adhere to certain relationship conventions is one of The Lobster‘s main topics. The film ridicules the notion that being single is undesirable and the lengths people will go to meet social expectations.

In hotels, people are under intense social pressure to find companions quickly or risk punishment. Such satirical portrayals draw attention to the ridiculousness of the rigid structure of society and the emotional baggage that these people may incur. The film also explores personal identity and the costs people may incur in maintaining their sense of self.

Lanthimos’ Narrative Structure

People rob each other of their uniqueness in The Lobster‘s universe, and they arise because of their marital status. Only character distinguishing characters such as Lisping Man and Biscuit Woman differ in identifying other characters. In the context of love interactions, such dehumanization highlights how people undervalue individuality and free will. As a lone and sad lobster candidate, David was, from the first moment, forced to come out as gay.

Later, the hotel clerk took him to a room he could share with his brother. We feel awful for him. However, the context explores how love works for family origin less than friendship. With his main idea explained, Lanthimos packed the two-hour film that all follows the logic of an entertainment company. For the killing of bloody animals and the man clinging to the toaster because the hotel staff found him masturbating, there is a lot of violent and explicit content.

Plus, there is much horrible anti-erotic sex. When single people have to watch a short drama that aims to teach them how bad it is to be single, they end up eating themselves to death. For many single individuals, questioning existence and dying alone has become a metaphor for one of the greatest fears.

Criticizing Superficiality

Lanthimos describes the ways of relating and the pressures to be romantically involved in a relationship. It became one of the main ways the film criticized societal standards. In society, they view single people as incomplete or abnormal. As a result, they must be in a hotel where they have a certain amount of time to find a mate or risk turning into animals. As a vehicle, the idea parodies a fear of loneliness and society’s attachment to romantic relationships.

Therefore, The Lobster investigates social expectations in greater detail. Highlighting the ridiculous requirement to find a companion at a hotel, they must be forced to bond over an arbitrary and shallow commonality. Like physical traits or habits, it parodies the idea that compatibility and love can be a reduction of mere physical characteristics. It criticizes society’s tendency to value outward appearances over actual emotional attachment.

In addition, the film questions cultural expectations regarding gender and conventional gender roles. It describes a world where adherence to rigid gender stereotypes is a necessity. Deviation from such duties is also unacceptable to them. For example, Lisping Man had to serve his sentence because of his inappropriate behavior. While to be themselves, the films mock the power of gender standards and criticize society’s pressure on people to play specific roles and their limited freedoms.

Parodying Consumerist Dating Culture

At first glance, The Lobster parodies the consumerist character of contemporary dating culture and the commodification of relationships. Hotels act as odd matchmaking services where the client requires a particular commodity. They are under time pressure to find a partner. In society, the critics emphasize how relationships become transactional experiences. People value others more for traits they could need to market than their fundamental values.

Like Léa Seydoux and Olivia Colman, there is lots of great acting and some fantastic dialogue. Like the literal interpretation of intimate terms that many real-life couples make, some heartwarming revelations also hit the spot in the middle of our backs. It would take much effort even if no one else could reach it. There is a moment of genuine beauty, an alternative moment in which resistance organizations can find us for friendship and love of approaching monastic proportions.

However, romance and sex are grave sins. The fact that “loners” had to prepare their graves before joining the group gave it a distinctive monastic atmosphere. Despite the romantic-totalitarian setting of the film, there is real romance. We will cheer for it. There is only one major negative for lobsters that we can think of.

Superficial Traits and Commercialization

The film features a possible ending where the punchline strikes before the protagonist makes his final choice. In a scene in the hotel, a maid artificially and inhumanely brings David back to life. However, the maids stop him before he can find freedom, so he will be more eager to find a partner. The film serves as an aid such as such. For a narrative as opposed to a physical climax, the hotel serves as the film’s macabre matchmaking agency.

It highlights the monetization of romantic relationships. They only have a certain amount of time to choose a partner. Instead of considering emotional compatibility, their success lies in outward appearances. They are motivated to build connections based on physical similarities or unique characteristics, reducing love to fixed characteristics. The critics emphasize how society often rewards superficial traits and treats love like a commercial good rather than rewarding deeper emotional connections.

In every way, The Lobster parodies social pressures to this day and treats it like a dream that society must fulfill. People turn into animals if they cannot find a partner within the allotted time. The argument that society treats love as an artificial good rather than a genuine organic sensation creates an exaggerated effect.

Cultural Expectations vs. Genuine Attachment

To compel people to want a romantic relationship, it shows the depth of what is possible. The film also casts doubt on the notion that we can make or encourage love. It examines the consequence of choosing a partner based on cultural expectations rather than attachment. As well as exposing the emptiness and lack of fulfillment that can result, The Lobster portrays love as an artificial good.

It challenges the notion that love can be predetermined or controlled and emphasizes the value of real connection and emotional depth. What will we do? Even so, the conclusion veers too far from the realm of storytelling, where Lanthimos, like all of his films, likes to shine or venture into the realm of thought or personality experiments. He likes; to explore individuality systematically. Instance, the characters in The Lobster get new names based on their distinguishing traits.

Dehumanization occurs when people do not get the opportunity to express their unique personalities and instead highlight approaches such as humor. The consequences of rejecting conformity in the film serve as another avenue for exploring the devaluation of uniqueness. At the hotel, guests are subjected to harsh punishments, becoming a critique of eradicating individuality as disobedient individuals lose their humanity and turn into mere beasts.

Embracing Individuality

Individual choices reflect the outcome by condemning social pressures to conform and repression of expression. The ridiculous standard emphasis on hotel dates parodies the idea that society emphasizes uniformity over individuality. The Lobster challenges viewers to consider the emphasis on originality and the risks of giving up one’s true self to societal norms. Emphasizing the ridiculousness of such congruence questions whether romance is worth all we must sacrifice.

For a culture with narrow interests, The Lobster is a multidimensional film.


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