Every once in a while, a film comes down the path that is unique, provocative, well-written and cast, whose themes stay with a viewer for months after the final credits roll. Such is the case with “The Lobster.” I had the good fortune to catch this film last November during its screening at the AFI Film Festival and am excited to sing its praises upon it’s opening in the United States on May 13.

Grabbing Critical Acclaim and Film Awards

Having won the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival while being nominated for seven British Independent Film Awards and Five European Film Awards, “The Lobster” arrives stateside with momentum.

Co-written and directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (“Dogtooth”), “The Lobster” takes place in a so-called parallel universe in the near future. Citizens of “The City” must be coupled in a romantic relationship. Those single are arrested and sent to “The Hotel” where they have 45 days to find a mate. If they fail, they are turned into an animal of their choosing. Literally.

Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly and Ben Whishaw lead a talented cast

Colin Farrell stars as David, a man who has just been dumped by his wife of 12 years. Sent to a gorgeous seaside resort known as The Hotel, David’s coupling clock begins ticking as The Hotel manager (Olivia Colman) spells out the strict rules for his stay and situation.

Meeting other singles (John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, and Ashley Jensen), David and other singles must navigate these new waters. There are organized dances, conferences, and demonstrations as to why it’s deadly to stay single. There are even group hunts in the forest, where David and others hunt “The Loners.”

These loners, including Rachel Weisz, Lea Seydoux, and Michael Smiley, are living on the outskirts of society.

The Loners follow no coupling rules, which is illegal. Hence, they are hunted down. But is this way of life so terrible, David wonders? Or do The Loners have their own set of stringent rules? Is coupling possible?

“Observing Friends and Strangers”

This is the third feature in which Lanthimos and co-writer Efthimis Filippou have collaborated.

Per the film’s press notes, Lanthimos explains the genesis for “The Lobster” came from the “...discussion about how people feel like they need to always be in a relationship; how other people see those who can’t make it … [are] considered a failure…” Co-writer Filippou adds, “Everything has to do with observing friends and strangers.” Filippou notes that he and Lanthimos, “…tried to think what love means to humans right now; how it is connected to companionship and solitude.”

“The Lobster” observes in a dark, somewhat twisted way the urgency of being mated and the danger of being alone. Although the film’s take on love is satirical, it courts viewers who are looking for stories that are challenging, distinctive while still being very human.

Lanthimos continues his ascent with his visionary work and top-notch cast in “The Lobster.”

“The Lobster” is 118 minutes and Rated R.

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