The Lobster (2015) directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, an original and rather atypical film about love, life and death, the plot of which takes place in the near dystopian future.
The protagonist of the film is the architect David, who, after a divorce, ends up in a hotel for singles, a special institution in which people are looking for partners. From that moment on, a man has only 45 days to find his “soul mate”. If at the end of the term David is left alone, he will be turned into an animal. In case of failure, the man plans to become a lobster.
The Lobster genre is a mixture of science fiction, social realism and something magically dystopian. After all, as in every full-fledged dystopia, in the film there is a cell of dissenters, such “loners” – people who live in the forest and do not plan to indulge the laws of the city. At the same time, “Lobster” takes the classic elements of melodrama and makes fun of them, forcing to rethink the concept of love, hetero or homosexual relationships.
Lobster Plot Explanation
The Lobster story is set in a society where single people are considered second-rate and have no right to a fulfilling life if they are not able to create a social unit: a homosexual or heterosexual union of two people. And you can only choose one thing.
At first glance, Lobster is a classic melodrama. At the beginning of the film, the main character is abandoned by his wife. In the end, having overcome certain life trials, he finds a girl with whom he is ready to spend the rest of his life. But what happens between the beginning and the end, the so-called “life tests” turn everything upside down.
Once in a hotel for singles, David is directly influenced by a society where every day without a partner is a waste of time. The element of restriction (45 days) successfully rhymes with the real state of affairs. That is, if you are 20 or even 30 years old and you do not have a family, this is normal. But if you are under 40 or 50, then it is expected that you are already married, raising children or even grandchildren, or at least have someone in mind.
In his 45 days, David must find someone who has at least one thing in common with him. So, for example, a woman with nosebleeds can only be with a man whose nose is bleeding. Lame with lame, lisp with lisp, etc.
People in the Lobster society are ready to create pairs with someone, relying only on superficial insignificant signs that supposedly bring them closer, but in fact simply characterize her or him from the most uninteresting side. For this reason, none of the heroes, except for David, has a name of their own, named according to their leading attribute: a woman who loves butter biscuits, a heartless woman, a loner swimmer, and the like.
Undoubtedly, we all have different character traits that create our personality. And partners who have something in common can look forward to a longer relationship than those who have almost no common ground. But the surface heroes of “Lobster” are endowed with only one such dubious feature, and they look for it in others – the same superficial heroes.
A satire like this may sound far-fetched, but just like in the world of the film, there are also people in our world who pretend to appear more attractive to their potential partner. For example, to be with a woman with nosebleeds, a lame person begins to cause nosebleeds, and a nearsighted David pretends to be cruel.
Exactly in the middle of the film, David escapes from the hotel and ends up in a forest society of people who deliberately chose loneliness.
Divided into two equal parts, “Lobster” demonstrates two possible ways out of the situation – to live in pairs, clinging to each other’s trivial and most superficial features or in a forest society, where, like in the jungle, everyone is for himself and even a grave for you. will not dig up.
At first glance, it may seem that the rules of the forest society are opposite, but they are rooted in the same absurd principles that govern the inhabitants of the city.
The communities of couples and singles are identical. Both the first and the second are severely punished for any deviations from the norm, and if they take care of you in the city, then in the forest, due to the lack of a toaster, they will simply cut you. The norms of life of single individuals grow from the generally accepted norms of life of townspeople – both there and there a person without a pair is considered inferior and prone to premature death. After all, without a partner, there will be no one to save you from a maniac or from a too large piece of meat if he suddenly gets stuck in your throat.
The meaning of the movie “Lobster”
For Lobster heroes, the default world is white and black. They are not able to discover something new for themselves, disrupt the usual course of things, notice the nuances and subtleties that endow life with a sense of unpredictability, interest and pleasant uncertainty.
In the world of film, everything is standardized. Shoe size cannot be forty-fourth and a half, a person cannot be bisexual or undefined in their sexual views. The Lobster concept does not allow for ambiguity or dissent, focusing on the rules of the society it is intended to ridicule. Our society.
Most films, books or art in general contain a certain romantic plot, which tells about love for a girl or boyfriend. Advertising is focused on this, pop culture is built, thousands of TV series are shot and thousands of songs are written. This creates the false idea that people are only happy as a couple and that being “single” is temporary.
Lobster ending explained
Obviously, having found his love, the hero never found a way out of the ill-fated system, did not cope with dubious morality, which requires at least one common feature.
In the last scene of the film, we see David standing in front of a mirror with a knife at his eyes. While the man hesitates and cannot make a decision, the screen goes out. The final remains open. In the credits for the film, we hear the sounds of the sea, as a hint that David decided not to blind himself and become a lobster.
A less obvious option is that David still mutilates himself, because he is sure that this is what is necessary for happiness.
What makes single people constantly look for someone? Traditions, expectations of the inner circle, or the desire to be like everyone else? Of course, we are not denying the obvious emotional or physiological needs that can only be met by being in a relationship. But where is the line between what (or whom) we really want and the expectations of a society that constantly dictates its own rules, and in case of non-fulfillment, makes fun of, comparing us with “thoughtless” animals?