This post includes a brief plot description and an explanation about the ending of the film “The Lobster” (2015). Did he leave her? Beware of spoilers.
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, the 2015 black comedy drama stars Colin Farrell as David and Rachel Weisz as Short-Sighted Woman.
The World Of “The Lobster” Explained
In a dystopian future, single people are an “anomaly” and therefore, they have no right to stay in “The City”. As a result, people without partners have to stay in a place called “The Hotel”.
Once the singletons arrive at “The Hotel”, they have 45 days to find a suitable partner. If they fail to do so, they’ll end up as an animal of their choice and sent off to “The Woods”.
“The Hotel” has its own set of rules. First of all, guests cannot date whoever they want, both parties need to share a common trait. Second, guests cannot pleasure themselves (only designated hotel staff can provide that type of stimuli). Third, guests can extend their stay by hunting “loners” (single people that live in “The Woods”).
The loners living in “The Woods” have their own leader, someone who takes the single life very seriously. Just like “The Hotel”, “The Woods” also has its own set of rules: loners must remain single. In other words, any type of romantic or sexual interaction between loners is a huge no-no and subject to very harsh punishments.
The Lobster – Plot Summary
David’s wife has recently left him for another man. As a single person, David has no option but to live in “The Hotel”.
After failing to connect with other female guests, David decides to pursue a woman known for being cruel (a.k.a “heartless woman”). At this point, the man is desperate and willing to try anything.
The heartless woman decides to test David: she pretends to choke on an olive just to see David’s reaction. However, the man remains stoic and indifferent, winning the heartless woman’s approval. Shortly after, the two make things official and move into a couple’s suite.
At first, things seemed to run smoothly. But then one day, David wakes up and finds out that his partner kicked his brother (a dog) to death (for no apparent reason). Unable to hold his emotions, the heartless woman threatens to expose the situation to the hotel manager. Terrified of the consequences, David runs away from the heartless woman. With the help of a hotel maid, David sedates the heartless woman and transforms her into an unspecified animal.
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With nowhere to go, David runs off to “The Woods”. There, he meets the loners’ leader and becomes acquainted with her rules. Every now and then, loners and their leader pair up as couples and head to “The City” to get some supplies. Meanwhile, David starts to develop romantic feelings for his fake wife (short-sighted woman). The feeling is mutual and they start talking to each other more often. However, the loners’ leader finds out about their romance and plots to separate them.
In order to break the two lovers apart, the loner’s leader blinds the short-sighted woman to end her compatibility (short-sightedness) with David. Unaware of the leader’s true intentions, the short-sighted woman goes with her to “The City” for a supposed eye surgery only to leave the clinic completely blind.
The short-sighted woman (now blind) returns to “The Woods” and tells David about her blindness. After hearing this news, David ambushes the loners’ leader and kills her. After that, he escapes “The Woods” with the blind woman.
Once David and the blind woman arrive at “The City”, they stop at a restaurant. However, they both notice that their relationship has changed, they no longer feels as close. Now, there are no common traits between them. So, David goes to the restroom to blind himself as a desperate attempt to restore the connection he had with the woman. The man tries but then hesitates. Meanwhile, the blind woman awaits for his return. The end.
The Lobster – Ending Explained
So, what happened at the end of “The Lobster”? Did David leave the blind woman? Or did he blind himself?
There are three possible scenarios: first, David blinds himself; second, David doesn’t blind himself and leaves the blind woman behind; third, he doesn’t blind himself and lies to her. Read until the end to find out what really happened.
THE 3 POSSIBLE ENDINGS
ENDING 1 – He blinds himself. This is the fairytale ending. David is a honourable man and his feelings for that woman are true. Therefore, he sacrifices his eyesight to be with her.
ENDING 2 – He doesn’t blind himself and he leaves her. David realizes that he is no longer in love with the woman. Their connection was superficial, they only “clicked” because they shared a common trait: a poor vision. Now that the woman is blind, David no longer feels a connection. Therefore, he leaves her at the restaurant.
ENDING 3 – He doesn’t blind himself and he lies to her. David doesn’t want to be single, so he lies to her. Basically, David is going to pretend that he’s blind. At the end of the day, David just wants a partner, a companion.
So, which ending is it? On the surface level, “The Lobster” seems to have a an open ending. In other words, it’s up to the audience to decide what happened between David and the blind woman.
A romantic person might believe that David and the blind woman did end up together. Meanwhile, a more cynical person might believe that David did not blind himself and straight up lies to the blind woman’s face that he did (only to have a partner). As matter of fact, there is proof that he’s capable of doing so (lie to get with someone): remember his short-lived affair with the heartless woman?
Although all the scenarios above are equally plausible, the director (Yorgos Lanthimos) kind of hints what happened at the end: David left the blind woman at the restaurant. Now, what proof do we have of this theory? The ending credits are pretty much telling us that David became a lobster. When the music ends, the audience only hears the subtle sound of the ocean. In addition, the blind woman always speaks about David as a distant memory, which somehow implies that they are no longer together.
David – Character Analysis
What kind of man is David? A man who’s trying his best to survive in a world where single people have no place to exist.
At first, it’s very easy to deem David as a coward and spineless man, which in a way, he is, but David is also extremely human for having those feelings. After all, David is just a regular man trying to find a mate so he doesn’t have to end up as an animal and live in a lawless place like “The Woods”. Having said that, was David’s feelings for the short-sighted woman real or was it all just a big lie?
David is a very practical person. While living at “The Hotel”, David decided to purse the heartless woman because no one dared to approach her. In other words, he takes his chances into account when pursuing someone. Although David’s interactions with the short-sighted woman seemed genuine, love was never his priority. David’s major plan was to go back to “The City” (and stay there), at all costs. When David met the short-sighted woman that was like killing two birds with one stone type of situation: the man found someone he liked who was also his golden ticket to go back to “The City”.
Just like many, David was just trying to stay alive (as a person). Although, it was very cold of him to abandon his former lover, that doesn’t mean he never had any feelings for her. However, compatibility does play a huge role and it’s very unfortunate that they couldn’t find other common traits that could bound them together. In a very sad and twisted way, the loners’ leader was right about them: their love was not as strong as they thought, because it ended the moment the short-sighted woman went blind.
How would I describe “The Lobster”? It’s different. Even though that sounds like a nice word to describe something really bad, that’s not the case. “The Lobster” is weird, but in a good way.
Now, those who thought that Colin Farrell cannot act, think again. The actor gives the audience a stellar interpretation of David. As a matter of fact, Farrell is almost unrecognizable in the film: out of shape and wearing the most hideous moustache ever. In other words, the actor looks ridiculous but it makes sense, because David himself is quite an odd ball.
So what is “The Lobster” really about? The whole film is essentially a satire on how society views single people and how social norms play a huge role in human behaviour. Most of the guests at “The Hotel” are not really looking for love or a soulmate, they just don’t want to be single. Becoming an animal is not the end of the world. However, many bad things can happen in “The Woods”. Having said that, getting a partner is a survival thing more than anything.
In the film, there’s a clear stigma about being single. Although, “The Lobster” is full of weird characters and extreme situations, the whole concept is really not that far-fetched. It’s just an exaggeration of our current society. For instance, “loners” are people who failed to meet someone suitable for them in that particular time-frame stipulated by “The Hotel”. However, unlike their fanatic leader, not all loners are against the idea of having a partner. But at the moment, living in “The Woods” was their only option.
Overall, “The Lobster” is a very fun film to watch. There’s a very good balance between drama, comedy and suspense in the film. The premise is original and the acting is superb. Having said that, “The Lobster” is definitely a very noteworthy watch, especially with that head scratching ending.