The Lobster delicately balances humour and brutality to tell a brilliantly absurd, yet altogether touching story. The largely matter-of-fact cinematography is beautifully offset by scenes in dramatic slow motion, and near uncomfortably loud opera adds grandiosity to the quiet, mechanical tone.
The stunted, cold delivery of dialogue serves the absurdity well, calling to mind Wes Anderson, as well as Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead. The pace and structure of the first half gives way to a looser, more disorganised second, with Colin Farrell as well as The Lobster‘s strong supporting cast comfortably handling both.
The Lobster could have come off as hammy and forced, but its humour, consistent style, and subtle exposition round the film to a palatable whole.
DIRECTOR: Yorgos Lanthimos
WRITERS: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
CAST: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Coleman, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, John C. Reilly
SYNOPSIS: After his wife leaves him, David goes to a resort to find a new partner or suffer being turned into an animal.
The New Zealand International Film Festival is running from July 30th to the 16th of August. Tickets available here: http://www.nziff.co.nz/2015/dunedin/ticketing/buying-tickets/