Stars: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux, John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, Olivia Colman, Ashley Jensen, Jessica Barden, Angeliki Papoulia, Ariane Label, Michael Smiley, Rosanna Hoult.
Directors: Yorgos Lanthimos
Screenplay: Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthymis Filippou.
This is a movie that really makes you think which animal you would actually like to spend your life being. Sadly, even with me actually taking the time to pick an interesting animal, I think I would pick being a cat—sleeping for 16 hours a day, yes please.
What else this movie makes you also think about is how we go about choosing the person we would like to spend our lives with—a tad more important of a question. In this alternative reality if you are newly single you have 45 days to fall in love and marry a partner before you become your chosen animal. It is whacky but this film gets you to believe its ridiculousness without much effort. This comes from a solid grounded filmic style within the world it has built. The style feels as a european Wes Anderson project— I am sure this actually feels like a Lanthimos film if I were to actually have seen his other projects.
What also drives this crazy tale comes from the dead pan or straight man reaction of the characters to the world around them. They have limited emotional reactions to what is happening. This creates a feeling of numbed reality, which allows a certain distance when watching these characters interact with each other and their circumstances. This mode of character is so alluring as they act in the way you expect but in reality are not at all reacting as they really should.
The acting is top notch, from Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and everyone else. They all are on the same page of how these characters have to behave in this kooky world they live in.
What is really quite striking is that though this scenario is so far removed from reality that it starts to actually represent what our society is actually like in regards to finding 'the one'. It is holding a mirror up to our rather curious rationale in why we need to settle down with someone and that being single is seen as a worry rather than just being a person. If you are not currently dating, married, engaged then you should be intensely looking for someone to fill the other half of you.
The argument turns on its head in the film that maybe humans should just be single after all. But what this film is really pointing out is that our society has this need to put in place these rules in how you must go on about your life by fitting into the regiment of what you are told to do. Instead of choosing how you want to live your life, you must fit into society.
This is by far my favourite performance from Colin Farrell, he holds this film together. The more I see from him and the more varied his projects are I can see him standing out as one of the greater of the actors working today.