The Lobster is a film with hidden meaning, which seems to be a satire commenting on the structure of relationships in society.

In the film, single people are sent to a special hotel, where they have 45 days to find a new partner. If they don't find a partner, society rejects them, and turns them into animals of their choice.

I have found many interpretations of this film online. Some people think the main message is that society is cruel to single people, and judges them too harshly. Is the point of this film to illustrate that discrimination? Or to imply that being single is bad? When David (Colin Farrell) falls in love with the 'short sighted woman' (Rachel Weisz), were the writers trying to tell us that actually we can't live alone? It is very confusing to me.

Can anybody please explain what this movie is actually about? And what the incidents in the movie mean? I'm less interested in speculation or personal interpretations, but rather would like to know if the writers themselves have provided any concrete interpretations (if available).


5 Answers 5


The director speaks about this here: http://www.indiewire.com/article/yorgos-lanthimos-on-the-absurd-logic-of-satirizing-modern-romance-in-the-lobster-20151008

He basically says that the movie is about how people nowadays are under an absurd amount of pressure to be in a successful relationship: "This time I wanted to do something about relationships, and how people are under so much pressure to be successful in that domain."

However, it looks like he conceived of this explanation in hindsight. He stresses that they developed the concept as a purely fantastical idea that was not intended as a comment on reality.

Quote from the director:

"We came up with the world outside the hotel because we felt the world wasn't complete without it," said Lanthimos. "We knew there would be people out there who had different ideas, wanted to live differently, and were rebelling against the system." The rogue community, however, has its own set of oppressive rules. "We're interested in the irony of someone who tries to escape a certain kind of system ending up having to become a part of another," said Lanthimos.

  • Now it makes sense, specially the outside of the hotel part. Thank you. Allow me to add a quote from the link in your answer which will explain it all.
    – AtanuCSE
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 4:47

I think David might have just fallen in love with the short sighted woman because he was also shortsighted. When she got blinded he started feeling much less in love. This is why he wanted to blind himself at the end of the movie. I think the point the director tried to make might have been that people judge a relationship on very insignificant things. Another example is that David's friend got a girlfriend because he pretended to have nosebleeds, like her. In the world we live in these things would be ridiculous reasons to fall in love with somebody for. It might have been a metaphor for other things that matter to us in judging a relationship, but shouldn't.

  • 3
    Not just that, but faking the nosebleeds and blinding himself could also symbolize the desperate measures that people take to find their match.
    – Luciano
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 14:07

I think this movie was secretly about how certain animal or insect life is portrayed by humans. Possibly lobsters act like this? Or maybe another sea creature or water animal is what I thought. The 45 days could relate to an actual animal breeding cycle or even insect or spider? The fact that the females were dominate and how the males are basically weak and lost trying to find a mate being their whole purpose stood out for me. Also the fact that the main male character would kill rabbits bringing it to the female is similar to how wild life shows love or care for a female.


I think there was a law that two people can be together if and only if they had similar quirk. Like couple with nose bleeds, couple with limps, couple who are heartless etc.

That's the reason why , the heartless woman tries to take David to the hotel manager to report him when she finds out that David was not heartless and started crying , when he found she killed his dog brother

The loner leader blinds short sighted woman (Rachel Weisz) so that she and David couldn't be together

In the end David blinds himself (Not sure about that) , so that he could marry and be with the blind woman (Rachel Weisz)


At the end of the film, Farrell carelessly blinded himself simply because he is in love with Weisz.

I also felt, that the writer is mocking the society, and maybe it is a form of rebellion towards i dont know.

  • 2
    Did he blind himself, or did he leave without doing so? I think the ending was purposely unclear.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 17:43
  • Theres no point of farrel leaving her. So i think thats not debatable.
    – oldage
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 9:04
  • 2
    Leaving would allow him to avoid poking out his own eye.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 15:31

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