HERE'S THE THING about The Lobster, the thing that'll either make you want to see it or never see it: It captures what it feels like to be single. And not just that—it captures what it feels like to be single in a society obsessed with everyone having someone. That's not a particularly fun thing to address, but it's not particularly awful, either, so The Lobster splits the difference: surreal and heartfelt, it's both laugh-out-loud funny and eerily melancholy. One minute, characters are wondering if they'll ever find a partner; the next, they're deciding which animal they'll turn into if they end up single.
Oh, right—that's the other thing about The Lobster, in which singles visit an austere resort, where, hopefully, they'll find someone to spend the rest of their lives with. But if they don't? Then they turn into an animal. Pudgy, morose David (a pudgy, morose, and great Colin Farrell) is one of those singles; if he fails to find someone, he's chosen to become a lobster. Alas, the longer he stays at the resort—which is overseen by an icy manager (Olivia Colman) and crammed with other leftovers (John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, Jessica Barden, Angeliki Papoulia), the more likely lobsterhood appears. It doesn't help that one of the resort's recreational activities consists of giving its guests tranquilizer guns, taking them into a nearby forest, and tasking them with shooting single people.
To say any more would ruin the weird surprises and discomfiting emotions The Lobster delivers: Yorgos Lanthimos' careful, clever film manages to be both a vicious satire of the sort of culture that watches The Bachelor and a funny, sad story in its own right, thanks to turns from Farrell, Colman, Léa Seydoux, and Rachel Weisz (not to mention Thimios Bakatakis' cinematography). The Lobster's characters are desperate for connection, and part of the film is about whether or not they'll find it. Another part is about whether that desperation to connect comes from them—or if it comes from everybody else.