Future Scenario: The Lobster

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Image courtesy of Mubi.com

By Isabel

For my future love scenario I too like Madi’s post , chose to analyse a film called The Lobster (2015) directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. The absurd and dark-hearted film takes place in a dystopian society where relationships are mandatory according to the rules set by ‘The City’. If you are a loner in the city, you will be immediately arrested to be transferred to a place called ‘The Hotel’. Where singles must find themselves a companion within 45 days, to be successfully released back into the idyllic society full of couples. This time constraint is quite brutal within the film, as we come to learn that singles who fail to find a partner are transformed into an animal of their choosing and are left neglected in the woods without any attempted care or treatment.

The film is a cynical satire about modern relationships and the pressures we place on ourselves to be in successful relationships. These pressures are effectively communicated through the main protagonist David (Colin Farrel), who is a newly divorced ‘lonely’ man that wishes to turn into a lobster if he fails to find a compatible partner. The absurdity of the hotel requirements is first illustrated through the registration process. Where singles are each asked a serious of questions, almost like the ones used to fill out to create an online dating profile. These questions included brief facts about their previous relationships, sexual preference, a defining characteristic about themselves and what animal they would be if they failed.

The importance of having a defining ‘attribute’ amongst couples, is repeatedly reinforced throughout the film. Some these often mundane attributes amongst the couples, included nosebleeds, short sightedness and even limps. And in the case of the nosebleed couple, the male partner was in fact faking his nose bleeds for the sake of staying in the relationship and not wanting to be turned into an animal.

The hostility of the place is enhanced by static camera shots, conveying dully lit rooms and grey overtones. Accompanied by nameless characters who all stage monotone voices and uniform outfits, adding to the artificial reality portrayed in this society. Making singles become void emotionless human beings, who forcibly try to couple off in an attempt to return back to ‘The City’ as successful partners who then settle and establish a family. This vision of the future is economically plausible, as the paired off couples would benefit from supporting each other and also the city in becoming a highly productive and functioning society.

In terms of the politics surrounding this future society, I don’t believe it’s an ethically plausible future. As the constant monitoring, surveillance and policing of couples within the city, diminish the human rights of these individuals. Striping them away from the privilege of choosing who they love on their own terms and most importantly when they are ready. Creating a society full of lonely individuals, falsely parading their partnerships. In an attempt to appear happy according to societies expectations, at the expense of their true inner happiness.

References:

Buder, E. 2015, ‘Yorgos Lanthimos on the satirizing of modern romance in ‘The Lobster’’, Indiewire, 8 October, viewed 21 September 2016, <http://www.indiewire.com/2015/10/yorgos-lanthimos-on-the-absurd-logic-of-satirizing-modern-romance-in-the-lobster-56869/ >.

Whitty, S. 2016, ‘’The lobster’ is a love letter to singlehood: review’, Daily News, 21 May, viewed 21 September 2016, < http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/movies/lobster-love-letter-singlehood-review-article-1.2634672 >.

Movie poster of the week: The posters of the 2015 Cannes competition, Mubi, viewed 21 September 2016, <https://mubi.com/notebook/posts/movie-poster-of-the-week-the-posters-of-the-2015-cannes-competition >.

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