Longevity and lifelong fertility are among the reasons why a human may wish to become the eponymous creature, explains Colin Farrell’s protagonist at the outset of “The Lobster.” The tasty crustacean’s rich associations with the Surrealist movement appear to have slipped his mind, but not that of Greek writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos, whose supremely singular fifth feature — his first in English — takes his ongoing fascination with artificially constructed community to its dizziest, most Bunuelian extreme to date.A wickedly funny protest against societal preference for nuclear coupledom that escalates, by its own sly logic, into a love story of profound tenderness and originality, this ingenious lo-fi fantasy will delight those who already thrilled to Lanthimos’ vision in “Alps” and the Oscar-nominated “Dogtooth,” while a starry international cast should draw as-yet-unconverted arthouse auds into his wondrously warped world.You'll find charming streetscapes, rustic cabins and elegant lakefront properties.
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The act is never referred to in the ensuing two hours, yet it comes to encapsulate all the film’s roiling emotional stakes in miniature.
From this point, Lanthimos and regular co-writer, Efthimis Filippou, waste little time establishing the laws of a mundane dystopia that doesn’t look severely different from the world we live in now: one of low-level shopping malls and slightly chintzy resort hotels, in which marriage and procreation is still the prized objective of polite social activity.
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As in Lanthimos’ other features, it’s only once the complex (yet firmly cemented) rules of his narrative universe become clear that his characters’ actions accrue practical and psychological reason; “The Lobster” is a film in which nearly every scene requires bookmarking, to be intuitively cross-referenced at a later point.