The Lobster conveys a dystopian future in which single people must find a mate within 45 days or they will be turned into an animal of their choosing. It conveys the innate need to have a partner, that we cannot survive if we are by ourselves.
The movie conveys a very improbable future scenario, given our current way of living. Where we as a global society are becoming more and more open minded and accepting of nontraditional conventions the movie conveys a set of ideals we seem to have moved past. the idea of being alone, we are becoming more and more accepting and even trending towards. Where I think we as a society see being single as something which allows for freedom and self discovering and acceptance, this society sees as a unimaginable fault. The idea of monogamy in general, where we see it as being one possible relationship style, this future sees as being essential to your survival.
A major focus of the film is the need to have something in common with your partner. That your relationship will not survive, that you will never love them, if you do not share some mutuality. This idea of compatibility does exist in our current society, however within The Lobster the ideas with which they find most important to share with a partner are incredibly superficial.
For the protagonist it is his short-sightedness. For another it is her nose bleeds. Issues which most people today would overlook in a partner as an interesting quirk they see as essential to making them relatable to each other.
Costuming plays a huge role in the film. All are dressed in the same outfits, becoming a uniform of everyday life. Although this may have been done intentionally by the hotel managers to highlight how ones personality is the most important thing, instead it acts as a way of making their physical appearance even more important. This worries me about the film, these superficialities. I want to say that this is not how our future could become. But I think our current lifestyle and focus on the outside appearance, as propagated by social medias, could result in our values resembling these. Narcissism rates are increasing every year and this does make me wonder whether a future which bases love on such petty shared characteristics could be such an improbable future. (The Rise of Narcissism, 2012)
Economically this future seems sound, no one, not even “the Loners” whom live on the outskirts of society as nomads, seem worried financially. Although Everyone within the coupled-up community seems to be taken care of by the governing body, their environmental concerns also appear to not have changed from our own. Nothing is being done to protect the environment, nor is there any care for the thousands of animals that are becoming endangered because people do not want to be turned into them.
I do wonder who the governing body of this future is. There is a lot of power held by the Hotel manager however they do not have ultimate control. There is a strict police presence that enforces the need to stay coupled up. I wonder whom their leader is and how they had this idea for a society. Would it have been someone whom was in a happy and stable relationship and desperately wanted this for everyone? Or could it have been someone scorned by a partner, whom thought the only way they, and the world, could find love again is if they were forced to?
The Rise of Narcissism, 2012, Television Porgram, Catalyst, ABC TV, Sydney, 18 October, http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3613361.htm
The Lobster, 2015, Film 4 Productions, Motion Picture for Film, UK.