AS love stories go The Lobster has to rank amongst the most unconventional ever committed to the screen.
It is set in the near future where single people, according to the rules of The City, are arrested and transferred to The Hotel.
There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into The Woods.
A desperate man escapes from The Hotel to The Woods where The Loners live and falls in love, although it is against their rules.
If you think this sounds bizarre, then you’re not wrong and the film’s plot may at first jar with audiences when they see the cast, which contains many well-known and several household names.
Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz are ably supported by Olivia Colman, Ashley Jensen, John C Reilly and Ben Whishaw. But this is simply not a star vehicle and already boasts some serious pedigree.
It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and won the Jury Prize.
It was also shown in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
With Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos in charge, viewers were always guaranteed to get something very different from Hollywood’s seemingly never-ending procession of romcoms.
Lanthimos is perhaps best known for his 2009 film Dogtooth, a drama about a husband and wife who keep their children ignorant of the world outside their property well into adulthood.
Although, on the face on it, The Lobster may sound like a hugely niche film with limited audience appeal, its timing could also, in many ways, be perfect.
Many may see it as a different twist on the idea of not being alone and the search for that someone special — which with the rise of dating via social media, has been popularised in recent years.
The Lobster will be showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse from Monday.
Review: David White