Mr69’s review published on Letterboxd:
I am obviously going against the trend here, so be it. I found the movie pretentious, ill balanced and with none of the nuances other more accomplished directors manage to reveal with their use of absurdism and counterpoint.
First, if the movie had been short, maybe it would have been bearable, maybe, as it stands, its length goes to show, at least for me, that there was not a compass that guided the director, this was a rudderless attempt at social commentary. I don't care if Mr Lanthimos is considered the plus ultra of directors, this is bad.
The movie tries to match absurdism with social commentary, but fails to create a world in which A) the absurd seems plausible and B) the plausible seems absurd. The deadpan, flat delivery of the lines loses all power after the first 30 minutes of the 1h 58m this thing goes on for and the humour, again, always spurred on by the absurdity of the moment/comment/observation, fails to find me (as it failed to find the funny bone of most people in a packed, large movie theatre in London, in fact, first movie I've gone to see in ages where people began to leave the cinema half-way, which I longingly followed with my eyes wishing it was me).
The cinematography is fine, nothing out of the ordinary, but Lanthimos fails to use it to punctuate the absurd moments (something Wes Anderson does very well, as does Paolo Sorrentino) nor is the dramatism enhanced by precise camera work (Hitchcock, Fellini, Truffaut). The dialogue, even in its supposed absurdist nature, is poor, fails to weave across and is uneven. While the leads do a super job, the characters are flat and I don't care for them or what happens to them, which is always a bad sign for me.
There are moments when this thing is good, like the hotel managers singing a duet, but they do not translate across the whole story, mainly because very quickly we leave the only part where there are interesting characters and spend the rest of the movie in the forest.
I found the movie:
-Too long -Pretentious without the grace to be so -flat -Uninspiring -did I say too long? -A convoluted way to tell a story that could have been told with the same intent in less time, with more observant, astute dialogue and far better crafted cinematography -A depressing experience -Not funny, by miles
Having just seen for the first time 'The Great Beauty' followed by 'The Royal Tenenbaums' I realized now what The 'Lobster' could have been but did not have the artistic currency to do. The social commentary is there, no doubt, I just did not like how it was executed.
Maybe I am just a heathen with no taste...but of course, these are my impressions, I know others who truly loved it, and that is good too.