The Lobster: Singles Stigma and Couple Standards in Society

The Lobster: Singles Stigma and Couple Standards in Society

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The Lobster: Singles Stigma and Couple Standards in Society.Yorgos Lanthimos' satire responds to the stigma of being single and the standard of an ideal partner. 

“The Lobster” (2015) is a romantic satirical drama film by director Yorgos Lanthimos. Yorgos Lanthimos is famous for his scripts with dystopian drama nuances . Where there is a unique social order or lifestyle, but contains values that are relevant to real life.

“The Lobster” is a film with a scenario concept that at first glance looks absurd and surreal . In fact, if we want to analyze more deeply, there are many points in this film that are symbolic of the stigma and standards surrounding love life in the real world.

The script of "The Lobster" itself centers on the love story of the protagonist named David (Colin Farrell). He lives in a dystopian civilization , where single people are diagnosed as mentally ill. After divorcing because his wife chose to change his heart to his mistress, David was invited to enter a rehabilitation hotel because he did not have a partner anymore. At the hotel, David must find a partner within 45 days. If not, he must surrender to be turned into a star according to his choice. David chose to be a lobster because the animal has a long life.

When Single People Are Equated with Animals

Even though it's often just a joke in our circle of friends, there is still a stigma about being single. Most of the stigma that is leveled at singles is in the form of degrading insults. Singleness is often associated with situations of emptiness and loneliness. There are also those who are considered 'not sold' in love life. Unconsciously, we who are still single also do not hesitate to make self-deprecating jokes.

For those of us who are over 20 years old, we are also often terrorized by questions about our partners. Starting from whether you have a candidate or not, to 'when are you getting married?' every gathering with extended family. The older we are single, the more bad stigma people put on us.

“The Lobster” inflicts the greatest insult on singles by equating them with animals. Yes, animals literally. David, who is single, cannot return to society as a human if he doesn't find his 'soul mate' during rehab. In this film, David's brother is a real example.

His brother was also rehabilitated because he was single. He failed to find a mate and chose to be turned into a dog in order to return to his family as a pet.

Ideal Couple Must be from the Same Background

Before undergoing rehabilitation, David was explained about the rules and processes he had to go through at the hotel. One of the interesting statements from the hotel manager is that everyone can only be in pairs if they have something in common. Like animals, stars can only mate with similar animals. Not alone, David met new friends at the hotel. There is a man who is limping, he focuses on finding another woman who is limping.

In the next chapter, David meets his soul mate right after running away from the hotel. He joins a cult of singles living in the forest, where relationships are forbidden. But David couldn't look away from a woman with farsighted eyes, just like he did. Until when the woman became blind, David thought to pierce her eyes with a fork so that she too would be blind. Because He's still stuck with the definition of a soulmate from a rehab hotel; that couples must have something in common to be compatible.

We also live in a society that still prioritizes equality in relationships. Starting from looking for a partner with the same beliefs, the same social class, to the same ethnic background. Not a few of us sacrifice to be able to achieve 'commonality' to be approved by the family and society. Some choose to equate spiritual beliefs with a partner. There are also those who try to socialize and work in an environment that is able to boost social status.

Marriage as Human Protection from Society's Judgment

“The Lobster” has a scenario that gives every single character urgency in it. As single patients, the hotel restrains various activities that meet their biological needs independently. They can only do it when they officially get a partner and proceed to marriage. Turning the patient into an animal if it fails during rehabilitation also adds to the stress. In the end, the patient is no longer looking for a partner on the basis of love. They just want to get out of the hotel and not end up as a star.

David's friend, the man was limping to the point of banging his nose to make it bleed. Because he wants to match a woman who often has nosebleeds. Not once or twice, the crippled man has to bang his nose periodically, imagine the pain he must feel during the wedding? However, for him the misery was better than being an animal.

Many people end up getting married only because of pressure from family and society. Although not yet firmly committed, while there are couples who want, they choose to get married as soon as possible. Thinking that getting married will complement their status as adults according to social construction. Work, marry, and start a family before turning 30 and over. The label is still essential for many people in our society.

In the end, this is just a general view of the love life contained in “The Lobster”. Although our civilization is now modern, with all the new alternative views of life, “The Lobster” is a film with an interesting metaphor as a symbol of the stigma and standards of couples in a society that is still conservative.

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