I’d heard so many favorable things about “The Lobster” before seeing it that I almost felt I didn’t need to. But, seeing as “The Favourite” was enjoyable and by the same director, Yorgos Lanthimos, I gave it my time. Apparently he also wrote “The Lobster”, and it seemed lacking in effect ultimately. It came across as cynical to be cynical, without much purpose other than to examine sexual and domestic relationships in excruciating detail.
The idea that people would be turned into animals if they didn’t find a suitable partner within a few weeks of staying in a hotel with other single occupants is absurd on its face, but even more so when it’s depicted in a serious way. Absurdity is part of the point, but it didn’t entertain or enlighten, so it’s a bit of a disappointment. Some scenes were interesting, but didn’t merit a feature length film.
Now that I think about it, the process of turning people into animals was likely just a lie to cover up the fact people were being killed if they didn’t find partners. It would make more sense that way, anyway. But perhaps you’re not supposed to get stuck on this point. Hotel security was also very lacking, which made the whole thing even more absurd.
As for the ending, the female protagonist was blinded by a zealot who believed that no one should have a romantic partner, and her lover was therefore incompatible and decided he would take a steak knife to his eyes to match her in blindness, for compatibility? It’s left intentionally ambiguous as to whether or not the male companion blinds himself in a restaurant bathroom or not, but I choose to think he doesn’t. He probably would realize he didn’t “love” her enough to do it, or that it was a stupid decision and that he could pretend to be blind and she’d never know. Or, he just left here there, blind and alone. It really doesn’t matter, the whole thing was pretty dumb.
I can’t recommend it.