More avant-garde/speculative fiction/fantasy than outright scifi, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster is a triumph of imaginative allegory. There is a strong message running through the narrative that somewhat loses steam in the third act. The set-up though is well conceptualised.
In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods. (from IMDB)
Our protagonist David (Colin Farrell) has been dumped by his wife and is sent to The Hotel and he desperately needs to find a mate or else he will be turned into a lobster (his choice, hence the title). Along the way he meets members of both sexes that get in the way of his quest, everything goes wrong and ironically, in the worst possible scenario meets someone whom he falls in love with (played by Rachel Weisz).
That’s when the plot simply goes off the rails and it seems that the writers did not know how to end – there is no climatic scene and no resolution whatsoever. In that respect, presumably Lanthimos would jutisfy his decision as an artistic one but it is deeply unsatisfying, to say the least.
But the film’s commentary about social norms regarding love and romance is spot-on. And that’s where The Lobster succeeds as a work of meaning, notwithstanding its flaws.