THE LOBSTER (2015) – Looking for a shortsighted boyfriend

The Lobster

I was conflicted about whether to define it as a horror or not, okay.

Before I start talking a lot about The Lobster, I would first like to thank Andrea, who wrote to recommend it to me!

Secondly, I reflected a bit before bringing it here on Horrornauta, as I wasn’t entirely sure it followed the general theme of the site. However, after repeated analyses and the fact that it stayed in my mind for a while, and especially after realizing that it has a very strong dark component, I decided it was worth it.

I always remind you that since I am a very educated lady, my reviews contain spoilers.

The Lobster, David

The Lobster (2015) – Conceived just to trip people out

Before talking about the film itself, I would like to briefly discuss the director, Yorgos Lanthimos, who also directed Dogtooth and makes his debut with a film in English and with an international cast.

After watching the film and forming my own opinion, I started to delve deeper into the topic, with some interviews and articles. I must say, it was a truly entertaining experience.

These conferences always have a lot of people, journalists, enthusiasts, industry experts, all concerned with asking very specific, deep, detailed questions, all trying to get to the core of the film… And Yorgos is practically like this:

pickachu meme

To give you a few examples, they asked him how he came up with the idea for this very particular plot, and he, nonchalantly:

Well, sometimes we just start talking about random topics and come up with things like this.

Or, “So what drives you to decide that a character must be represented by that particular actor?” and he:

“Well, I don’t know, it’s a bit random, I see the actor and say, oh yes, it’s him, without any criteria, I just feel it.”

And lastly, someone asked him: “Listen Yorgos, I thought that the rebellion of the leader of the loners could be a kind of rebellion against one’s parents but magnified, for example by choosing to make the parents play classical music and forcing the loners to listen to electronic music, as a kind of affront.”


blinking man meme
“That never crossed our minds.”

It was really amazing. I wanted to make this brief digression because it actually fits well with his intent: to make the viewers ask questions, discuss, and talk about it.

The director himself highlights how often, the viewers themselves see things/references/subtleties in the film that might have happened by chance and were not really intended.

This enormous freedom allows us to see The Lobster (2015) with our personal, intimate vision, perhaps defined only by our experiences, our contexts. Which, indeed, leaves much room for “discussion,” what do you see in it? What do I see in it? And so this, this intrinsic intent to make people “doubt”, is something that moved me and made me appreciate the film’s intent (and also the ending) more.

transformation room the lobster

I’ll stop bullying Yorgos and finally talk about The Lobster

THE LOBSTER (2015) was born as a sort of “experiment,” a test on human nature, “how would humans act if put in conditions of…”. It’s not a dystopia; on the contrary, Lanthimos tells us that his intent was to represent a reality as close as possible to our own.

It is also an excellent representation of how, in the absence of spectacular special effects, a film can be interesting and engaging thanks to the use of a peculiar concept and especially thanks to imagination.

It is a dark (very dark) comedy, it reminded me a bit of Cat Sick Blues (2015) and the idea of “making people laugh while making them uncomfortable,” which is exactly the effect I had.

There’s a lot of dark humor that drives me crazy, as well as the monotonous off-screen narration, which is borderline bizarre. All characteristics that aim to make you “laugh,” in contrast to scenes that leave you stunned (I can still hear the screams of the biscuit woman).

The Lobster, David and the maid

The characters of The Lobster

The characters are not explored at all; many are defined only by one characteristic (the shortsighted one, the biscuit woman, the leader), and we know nothing about them. Even the actors had no background to refer to, which favored a very “random” performance, as if the director had deliberately put them in a situation they knew little about to make them act as “naturally as possible” (which ties back to the idea of the film as an “experiment”).

Some characters I really appreciated:

  • Léa Seydoux, who made me question my sexual orientation and whom I had already seen in Death Stranding
  • Jessica Barden, whose psychopathic gaze followed me from The End of the F***ing World to The Lobster
  • Ariane Labed, who plays the maid, is Yorgos’s wife
the lobster lea seydoux and a pig

The meaning behind The Lobster

Even though it seemed like an episode of Black Mirror, The Lobster is not a dystopia; it is simply the exaggeration of some “rules” (sometimes evident, sometimes passively followed) of our society.

The hotel as a representation of a society that “expects” you to be in a couple, that life as a couple “is better,” “is safer.” Forced to couple to “fit” into society’s norms. So we have those who adapt (like the guy who breaks his nose 24/7 just to couple), and those who don’t, deciding to flee.

And then you flee from this hotel with absurd rules, only to end up in another “hotel,” in another tribe. You think you’ve escaped, but the other alternative, the loners, is just as extreme as the hotel. There’s no real way out. You jump from one tribe to another, subjected to the imposed rules.

the lobster, blind woman

Loneliness as a stigma and family as the ultimate fulfillment

In the context of The Lobster (2015), society considers “normal” only those with a partner. Loneliness, the single person, is seen as a reject. It is a reality that, unfortunately, is still valid in some contexts, although recently I’ve seen a sort of resurgence of the “singles.”

But then, the boyfriend? When are you getting married? When are you having kids?

This constant pressure on your shoulders (which some people feel while others don’t care at all), this constant pushing of others towards what “the mass,” “the majority,” considers the ultimate goal (thus coupling and finally procreation), increases over time and becomes insistent when you start seeing that everyone around you eventually goes down that path. “Am I abnormal? Am I wrong not to want to do it too?”

Not coincidentally, my mother considers me a spinster. At 24 years old. Spinster. So what I wrote above also comes a bit from how I experience it. Fortunately, though, I’m not looking for the first shortsighted person to pair up with and live unhappily in society.

But the discussion could be expanded with all the prejudices around the issue, like considering finding love after 30/40 a kind of joke, or not believing in love in old age, as if there were a manual to follow for being together, milestones, and once you’ve missed them, it’s over. Only forever and destined to turn into a fucking LOBSTER.

the lobster, protagonists

Relationships, those banal and superficial ones

Another particular and quite obvious characteristic in The Lobster (2015) is the superficiality of the relationships that are formed. Perhaps even the very input of falling in love is questioned: the shortsighted woman falls in love with David randomly, sees him, imagines him in a villa while they have sex, and bam, that’s enough to take the first step towards him.

Why are we together? Because we are both shortsighted, we are alike, we share this one thing and that’s enough to justify this attraction between us. And if there isn’t even that one thing? Then we’ll build it. You suffer from nosebleeds but I don’t? It doesn’t matter. Just to show everyone that I’m in society and have a woman next to me, I’ll break my nose to pretend that “I’m in this relationship,” “I have the right to be in it,” “I have enough to be in it.”

It’s not too difficult to look around and see couples who have nothing in common except having nothing in common. People at odds who tear each other apart just to force their being together. Why? Is it easier than being alone? Why does solitude scare us? Why do we let everything idealized in our heads take over?

The Lobster, the ending

THE LOBSTER – Story of an unconventional love. Yes or no?

Do you think The Lobster (2015) is romantic? Some people think so, even Rachel Weisz (the nearsighted woman) defined The Lobster as a romantic film, with a capital R, meaning the overcoming of love of every barrier, rule, in short, love that makes you do crazy things, going against everyone.

I’m not really of this opinion; it’s surely a story of unconventional love in the context in which it’s set, but for me, it’s quite bland and insipid. It starts with banality and at the end of the film we find a David who is still there, in front of the mirror, with a knife pointed at his eye.

Even though they have left their tribes, their impositions, they still feel the need to find “that superficial thing that makes them alike.” They haven’t really broken out of their patterns, their sentimentality is still the same, banal and superficial. Everything is reduced to an almost childish state, the relationships, as well as the way the characters talk. All a bit drugged and addicted.

the lobster, david and the shortsighted woman

Am I willing to blind myself for you?

And so the open ending leaves the possibility of asking questions. Will he blind himself for love? Will he find an agreement with the blind woman without losing his sight? Is this really a test of love? How sensible is it to ask the other for extreme proofs to demonstrate a feeling? Considering all the question marks I’ve used in this review, I think Yorgos succeeded in his intent with The Lobster (2015).

Question! Question everything!

Picture of Lorena |

Lorena |

I like unusual horror, the kind that gets under your skin and scares you because it's realistic. The anxiety of watching something that, all things considered, could easily appear in the real world. Email me at

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