The Lobster ★★★★½

The Lobster is a surreal dystopian black comedy in the mold of Kafka or Kaufman in which the basic idea of the film - that people who are alone in life are checked into a hotel in which they must find love in 45 days or they are transformed into an animal of their choosing - is weird enough to repel all but the hardiest souls willing to adventure into the strangeness of the film's premise.

The movie takes that already odd core idea and then manipulates it and extends to an equally unusual conclusion that leaves an open resolution and that results in more questions than answers, which is a good thing.

The performances work toward the accomplishment of what is an audacious idea and script, with a style of dialogue that is both familiar and foreign. Colin Farrell has never been better, and his performance here is evidence that he has more depths of character that can be plumbed in future efforts.

The Lobster is not an easy film to understand, but it's definitely worth the effort. It is about life and love and humanity, but it is about so much more than that at the same time, using symbolism and metaphor to instigate some very interesting conversations without confining itself to the shackles of those metaphors or defining one way in which they have to be interpreted.

It is a film that I want to watch again to attempt to understand, but I know that I could watch it a dozen times and still find myself confused and wondering about its ultimate purpose, which in my mind is one mark of an effective film.