The Lobster - a short review

Don’t read if you haven’t seen the film.


Here’s a movie I should have enjoyed and revered but I didn’t.


It has dark humor, a setting in nature with a lot of tranquility and quietness. It has subtle, akward interactions. It has some very surreal and beautiful imagery. 

These are all things that I adore about movies and as I write this down it reminds me a lot of the work of Alex van Waremendam. But the movie didn’t strike me. The first 15 min were very enjoyable and I was very excited to be watching the movie. But after the first 15 min, nothing quite ‘happened’ for me. The story progressed, and the settings changed, the characters changed. But I was left with the feeling that nothing had happend and that what I was watching was just repetition.

So why is that? I have the feeling my experience was like this because of a few things. 

1. The characters in this film all talk without subtext and with very very little emotion in their faces. This is part of the style of the film and it’s also what grabbed me the first 15 mins. But this does not change whatsoever. They just keep on being plain. 

2. The editing and the music que’s make no change. There is a slight change in the music of one note at some point, but that’s about it. The edit has the same tempo all over. Nothing is emphasised. This make is very very hard to watch because it doesn’t give any clues as to the tempo of the piece and gives the feeling that the story is never really getting started or is never making any changes. 

3. The framing never changes to give any emphasis. It’s all wide shots and mediums. Nothing get’s a little more attention with a close up now and then. It’s all the same. There is almost no camera movement. And it is never used to highlight something or to give meaning to a moment. 

These three things combined made the movie unwatchable to me. Altough the imagery and the story and the concept resonate with me a lot, the movie left me completely blank and unmoved. This was a real let down. I really wanted to like this movie.


Edit 08:48. Just got an idea for a film with striking similarities to The Lobster. :D