In this poster for The Lobster we see Colin Farrell in an incomplete form, but in viewing the movie I don't remember seeing anything similar to what the poster is suggesting or related to it in any way.

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What meaning is this poster trying to convey?

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    Isn't the blank space supposed to be a silhouette of a person (a woman judging from the white thin lines around his chin that could be hair)? Looks like he's hugging the "erased" person. The movie is about single people being forced to find a mate, so I think the blank space is supposed to represent a person "missing" from the man's life (a romantic partner) – A.J. Evans Dec 29 '16 at 11:29
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    @A.J.Evans why didn't you answered it yourself. I noticed your comment after I submitted my answer. – Ankit Sharma Dec 29 '16 at 11:37
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    @AnkitSharma didn't think my thoughts were enough for an answer, plus it's more of an opinion on what the poster means and not a direct answer from a legit source, so.. :) – A.J. Evans Dec 29 '16 at 11:49
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    That the poster belies the film is likely intentional. It was marketed as a lighthearted science fiction-themed romantic comedy, and is in fact a dystopian absurdist film which subverts romantic comedy tropes. Which is fine, but I went to the movie on the basis of the trailer and didn't get what it said on the tin. (Which is precisely what the marketers wanted; as Roger Ebert pointed out, the marketers produce the trailer for the movie they wish the director had made, not for the actual movie.) – Eric Lippert Dec 29 '16 at 15:00
  • @user44938 I think you answered it in your question - Colin Farrell is incomplete until he finds a partner. – Mr_Thyroid Dec 29 '16 at 22:55
up vote 64 down vote accepted

The film has two posters

enter image description hereenter image description here

The two beautifully minimalist posters of Yorgos Lanthimos’ dystopian movie The Lobster have been created by Greek designer Vasilis Marmatakis (cofounder, but no longer part, of MNP). The pair of posters feature once Colin Farrell, once Rachel Weisz, embracing a person-shaped void. - src

And from IMDb plot synopsis:

In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.

So the poster suits quite well to the story as the void represent the missing partner quite well.

Note: I have not seen the film but the poster complemented the IMDb synopsis quite well for me.

In addition to Ankit Sharma's answer, I think there's a second meaning. During the movie, the short-sighted woman (Rachel Weisz) loses her sight. She's no longer able to see the person she loves. (And she loses it because she loves him.) It's implied at the end of the movie that David (Collin Ferrel) is going to blind himself, leaving him also unable to see his lover. Once they're blind, they will only be able to feel their lovers embrace, but not actually see them. I think the poster represents that fairly well.

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    You might want to hide your answer behind a spoiler tag. – spacetyper Dec 29 '16 at 16:27
  • @spacetyper I'd rather not have the entirety of the answer hidden away in a question that is about the actual film. – Napoleon Wilson Dec 29 '16 at 18:41
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    @NapoleonWilson: But this answer gives away the ending. At the very least mention in big bold letters that there are spoilers at the top of the answer. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Dec 29 '16 at 19:33
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    Sorry, I'm new at spoiler text, and the help center says to generally avoid it. I've added some. Let me know if it's sufficient. – user1118321 Dec 29 '16 at 22:42
  • How much of a person do you even see while in a hug. I prefer it as the more abstract "hole" couples can fill in each other. – Nick T Dec 30 '16 at 21:39

I've actually seen this poster as it shown in Wikipedia:

enter image description here

And always was sure that those voids (apart from metaphor for being lonely and chasing something that just does not exist) are actually sort of shaped in form of lobster claws.

The Lobster is actually absurdly humorous for a while. It takes a turn to the dark side and never comes back. In spite of the dark content, it does still manage to coax a smile at the absurdity of people, now and then. I feel like the underlying theme is loneliness and isolation. The poster captures that feeling.

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