The Lobster Movie Ending Explained
The Lobster is a strange and dark commentary on our society's disdain for single people.
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The Lobster Movie Ending Explained

So I was not a fan of The Lobster. And I get avant-garde, I love weird and different approaches to movie making. I really did think that The Lobster would be a slam dunk for me. But it hit a nerve for me that turned the nightmare factory into overdrive. Like, really really bad dreams. And I think I know why. (Trust me, I’ll get to the ending explanation here soon enough.) I grew up in a Christian home and participated in the evangelical christian sub-culture with all kinds of vim and vigor. All that to say, back in the 80’s there were roaming movie showings of something called The Thief in the Night series… and they were terrible. Terrible in every sense of the word. Here… this should give you a taste of the horror that was the Thief in the Night series. Regardless, watching the Lobster for me was much like watching one of these Christian 80’s rapture terror movies. Very very unsettling.

like really. really unsettling.

But that isn’t why I’m writing this post. I want to basically do an overview on the world of the Lobster, and then dive into the ending and what happened. Because I’m sure there are like a million of you hit the ending and were like, wait,…. wait,…. WHAT?! And I love “Wait, WHAT” endings, even when I hate the movies that contain them. So yeah, it goes without saying that this post is just for people that have already seen the movie. Ok? So here is a trailer to give a bit of separation between you and the spoilers further below. It may actually even entice you to watch the flick? Who knows.

The Lobster World Explained

Before we can get to the ending, I think we need to sort of talk through what the heck is going on in this world. It actually is simple enough. It is a crime, punishable by death (of sorts) to be single. If you were in a relationship, and your spouse dies, or divorces you, you are then sent to a hotel that doubles as a singles detainment center. Think of it like a rehabilitation center. Or maybe a detention center that works to rehabilitate single people.

While there, the single people are forced to participate in coupling exercises of various types. They are also subjected to Public Service Announcements about how terrible it is to be single. You might be raped. You might become depressed and commit suicide. Etc. While at this rehabilitation center they are also sent out to hunt the woods for random single individuals.

Who are these people they are hunting? Simple enough. As we learn when David, (Colin Farrell’s) character decides to make a run for it, the single people that are hunted are escapees that have hidden in the woods. These singles work hard to stay single and remain free. They also are punished quite severely when they do couple up as it is against their mantra and raison d’être. So when David hits it off with Short Sighted Woman (Rachel Weiz’s character) we know that there is some serious repercussions coming.

The Lobster As Social Commentary

Although I hated the movie, I loved the commentary, and what it says about our culture. Single people probably hate the condescension and belittling that all of society lever at them day in and day out. If you are single, you are a failure… right? Maybe society is getting better at not saying that to singles. But I doubt it. (I would love to hear from some of you older singles to hear if maybe it isn’t all that bad? But I don’t think we’ll get many even saying anything as they’d have to open up in order to even comment.)

So as a reminder to quit being a dork to single people, I really appreciated the movie. But the blackness of the comedy scared me physically senseless. Like to my core. No Stephen King book has ever scared me more deeply than this movie. Which brings us to the ending. In this world of singles trying to couple, and couples trying to catch singles, and singles trying to catch attempting couplers…. what was that ending all about?


The Lobster’s Ending Explained
One of the key details I intentionally skipped over was the idea of the “Identifying Characteristic”. In the movie of the Lobster Identifying Characteristics are used as Nom De Guerres or Nom De Plumes… they are how these singles are known. And it is these characteristics that will get you your eventual significant other. Right? So, if your identifying characteristic is a limp… then please, DEAR LORD, there better be someone else at the hotel checking in with a limp as well. “What about her? She has a limp”, “No, it’s just a sprained ankle, I already checked, it’ll heal.” Which makes quick work of the thickness of these dating sites and our own thickness when we match our single friends up. But you like X-Files… She likes X-files… what happened?

But these identifying characteristics were critical for our leads in that they were critical to their getting together while in singles land in the wood. These two both had Short Sightedness as their identifying characteristic. Which, plays an enormous part in the movie as it progresses. Not just in a spat of Jealousy for David, but also in how David and the Short Sighted woman identify themselves as a couple.

When the leader of the singles decides to take retribution for their relationship she does so in the worst possible way for the two. She takes Short Sighted Woman to go have her eyesight fixed. Right? Which is bad enough. But instead of just fixing her eyesight, which would have been nearly fatal to her relationship with David, she has the optometrist blind her instead. This does two things simultaneously. It ruins her relationship with David. They now have nothing in common. (See, that black comedy again.) And secondly it incapacitates her – which is critical in that her ability to survive the hunt each day will be nearly impossible. (As an aside, did you understand that the singles hunt the renegade singles? And when they are shot, they are shot with a tranquilizer gun, and then they are turned into an animal, right? You understood that was what was happening? I wasn’t 100% sure myself until I read more about the hunt after I finished watching the movie.)

Now we are coming to the pivotal moment – the ending. So the Short Sighted Woman is now The Blind Woman not the Short Sighted Woman. Then we see David (the Short Sighted Man) and The Blind Woman at a restaurant and David says to a waiter walking by, “Can I have a fork and a knife, not a butter knife, a steak knife.” He is trying to decide whether he should gouge out his eyes with a fork, or with a steak knife. Right? Before David goes, The Blind Woman tries to encourage him by saying how much more heightened your other senses will be, etc. And David heads off to the bathroom.

There in the bathroom we see David raise the knife to his eye, and the camera cuts away. And then we see The Blind Woman sitting and waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

Theories About the Ending of The Lobster
So what happens next? With this movie the options are super super simple. So simple in fact that Colin Farrell even spelled all three out for us in an interview this past June with Entertainment Weekly. I’ll let him explain the options, he does a better job with it than I ever would:

EW – “But…does he do it?”

Colin – “Honest to God, part of me thinks he does it. Then part of me thinks that when the camera cuts back to Rachel Weisz, I’m already in a f—ing Uber, heading down the road as fast as I can. And part of me goes to the third option.”

EW – “Which is?”

Colin – “That he doesn’t do it but he goes back to her and tells her that he did. There are so many different options.”

To recap, we have three fairly basic options on the table here.

Option 1. He does it. He gouges out his own eyes for love, and they make a life for themselves among the land of the couples finally. This is your Disneyland fairy tale option. This is the option for all you optimists out there. All you really really twisted optimists out there that is. hahah.

Option 2. He doesn’t do it… he books it as fast as he can as soon as the camera peels away. This is the option for all of us cynics out there, those of us that prize our eyesight above love. We are terribly lonely and cynical people, us Option 2 people.

Option 3. This one? This is the richest and most brilliant of options. Not only does he not do it, but he goes back and tells The Bling Girl that he did do it. That he did gouge out his eyes. He lies to her through her teeth. This is the sickest of all options, but the most clever of all three by a factor.

But which option is it? Which one did he actually do? Well, it sort of depends on your perspective on the world. But I have some pretty good evidence that causes me to think that there was one specific theory that wins out over the other two.

Remember when The Short Sighted Girl first learns she’s been blinded? She realizes what has happened to her… what does she say? She said something to the effect of, “Why did you do it to me? Why not him?” Remember that? I think this shows that this idyllic fairy tale, this wonder happy blissful love is flawed and failing. It reminds me of the relationship David had temporarily with Heartless Woman and how he played himself up as the cruel counterpart to her hostile self. He eventually is called out as a fraud and the relationship dissolves… with great pomp and circumstance.

Also, if it really was love, true love, wouldn’t she have said, you know what, sucks that it was me, but keep your eyesight, our relationship is bigger than the stereotype that society places on top of us and our relationship. Two very different people can be in love, and it doesn’t matter that our identifiable characteristic is no more. But alas, she holds him to it – this social (and screwed up societal conceit) contract that in order to be a couple they have to be the same.

And so I personally believe that David brought the knife to his eye, had a moment of clarity… realized she doesn’t love him anymore than he loves her. That he’d be better off without her, jumps in the nearest Uber and bolts. No? You? What do you think happened at the end? Are you an Option 1 guy? An Option 3 gal? Why? What did you see in this mind job of a movie that I missed with my eyes closed for half of it? Shout out your opinions in the comments.

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134 Responses

  1. greg

    i think he does it, for a number of reasons.

    first, the superficial reasons. it was his idea, he showed great commitment getting them to the diner, and already went through the moment of hesitation right before the cut scene, at which point he seemed well poised to execute his purpose, and resolved to do so.

    a slightly more comvincing reason is that the cut scene lasted a moment longer than a typical cut scene, leaving the viewer staring at pitch black before going to the blind woman. i took this to be symbolic for him going blind.

    the greatest reason gets into the issue of having to have a common defining trait. i thought this was a rather clever physically manifested (exagerated) metaphor for the common belief that in order for a relationship to be strong enough to last, the couple must have some core values in common. i could go on and on about all the aspects of this in the movie. however, sticking to the point, there is the moment when nosebleed guy talks about the pain being worthwhile to make the relationship work, then the main character gives in to this idea of faking it, and goes for the heartless woman, but he finds he can’t soften her and has to leave. still, it shows he’s willing to go great lengths to make it work. so i ask you, what is the most common way for couples to make a relationship work in real life? they choose to be blind together. of course, those marriages typically end in divorce, but it’s sadly true nonetheless.

    it makes perfect sense. the whole movie was a commentary on how hard our society is on singles. so what better jab to make than to point out what absurd lengths we go to just to be no longer single? you only have to open your eyes and look around to see all the couples that are fooling themselves into thinking they are meant to be by walking around, quite intentionally, blind.

    • Taylor

      I can’t argue with a single one of those points. I think the biggest argument that he did it is that the movie is an absurdist diatribe against the insanity we put our singles through. If the movie stays true to form and it continues rolling for 2 more minutes? Or he does it in grand fashion. I mean, what other movie beats the crap out of a dog? Seriously??? That is an unwritten rule. Never, ever, let dogs die. Accidentally for sure… Actively?!? Never.

      I’m buying what you are selling Greg. This movie is such a complete mind job it can go 90 ways to Sunday.

      • greg

        Wow – I take that as a high compliment, coming from you – thanks!

      • Shelby

        THE DOG SCENE. I felt physically sick. Even if it wasn’t his brother….W T F

      • Al Bundy

        Of course he didn’t do it.
        Besides the valid points in the OP, the biggest giveaway is in the end credits.
        The music stops and all we hear is the sound of the ocean.
        He chose to be alone and to be a Lobster.

      • Lorraine

        I did not appreciate the dog scene. Or the psychopaths description of her killing the dog. Too much.

      • Ravi Parekh

        Is another option possible that he did not do it and went to her to tell her the truth that he can’t do it. But still they can survive together.

    • Luke

      I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that the movie is a commentary on the absurd lengths couples will go to; effectively blinding themselves. However, I don’t think what “actually” happened is at all important. Humans are naturally curious and are often inclined to find answers, but this movie didn’t need them. It had already shown all it needed to without us knowing what he did. The act of holding a knife to his eye is all the viewer needed to see to get the message. I love it when movies or books do this, leave something out that is normally conventional to add (a complete ending in this case) when the ambiguity actually tells us more. I love not knowing, I love that the story and characters disappear and never give us the extraneous information we crave, it’s quite wonderful to embrace the ambiguity.

      • greg

        Luke – I definitely prefer closure, but I agree that this movie didn’t need it. I also love movies that appear to be open ended, but actually are not. The director just requires the audience to think about it in order to come to the correct conclusion. Inception is a great example of this.

        I believe you are right about The Lobster in that it was intentionally left open to interpretation, though. I just personally think he did it.

      • Maria

        I’m a year late to this convo but I’m blown away by the thought process of you guys. I just finished the movie and my brain doesn’t get me to pick one thing and stick with it. This movie ending had me wondering did he or didn’t he?? As far as movie endings I loved No Country for Old Men. While most people look at it like wtf happened. I look at it as this guy was not necessarily the villain. His $ was stolen and he rightfully wanted it back. Anyways, The Lobster was odd and I usually like odd but I don’t know how I feel about this movie. It was so surface yet so deep. It kept all its quirks and it’s oddness on the surface but to people who actually think, this movie was DEEP. While I see all 3 ending what I want to have happened is he lies to her and says he does it. I really think he couldn’t hack it and took off. I’m not usually a cynic but that’s what I feel happened and then there’s that 3rd option in my brain. Maybe I’m just an indecisive woman hahaha

    • Benjie

      Her eyes get better, he doesn’t do it, he goes to tell her he didn’t do it, she says she can start to see again, they go and fix her eyes at the doctor, they then go and live by the sea, hence the sea sound at the very end.

    • Gillian

      Greg, I think you make a good argument for he-did-it, and your points about sacrifice and blindness in relationships are right on as well. Then Al Bundy, a couple of comments later, notes the sound of the sea that puts the last word on the ending and that is definitely a strong suggestion in a movie where everything can be taken as metaphor. Maybe we choose to see the ending that matches our take on relationships. I think all the possibilities are pretty horrible and I just can’t commit to one. Ha.

    • English

      One element of the story seemed to be the essence of true “love” and a theme was that none of the couples were willing to sacrifice themselves for their partner. I think it was about the superficiality of what we romanticize about relationships and “love.” When she first tells him she’s blind, they have a regular conversation up until she says she lied about the haircut THEN he gets upset. The idea that relationships must be totally honest to work is 1 theme, and the idea that partners in love will die for each other is the next. These are shown in different scenarios, but consistently every character is more concerned about self-preservation than self-sacrifice. Arguably, the short sighted people have a legitimate romance, more than anyone else in the movie and are willing to risk everything for it. Which is why it’s weird that it almost falls apart when things change (a metaphor for how people in relationships say their partner “changed” so it ruined things maybe? Partners need to “grow together” or separate?) But given the pattern, the biggest theme has been self sacrifice versus self preservation and I saw too much hesitation to believe he did it, but maybe that’s why it is left up to the imagination. Maybe it’s so you would ask yourself, is there any relationship in my life that I would be willing to stick a steak knife into my eyeball to keep? Not one, but two eyeballs. Your answer maybe says more about how you view the limits of love than anything. I also think this movie reveals what it FEELS like to be single or in a relationship. Single and looking people often feel like their lives are at stake and the clock is ticking. As a loner I can attest to the “pain without anyone to put on ointment” thing but dont connect to the punishments part. I guess that’s where the movie loses the metaphor in favor of the plot. Or i just didnt get that part

      • English

        When you stop looking for love is when you fall the hardest, or maybe that’s part of it. When you give up on the quest and live in the jungle the real thing catches you almost against your will. You didnt want it but it comes up. BUT it always starts with a sense that you see yourself reflected in another person, somehow. That’s so common. You see somebody who “gets you.” It’s your own mirror reflection youre enamored with in that way. The part that makes you love them is the part that was already yours all along. When that changes, the relationship goes sideways I guess. According to this movie, anyway. So it’s the You in Them that you want to keep all along, and that might be why nobody really wants to sacrifice themselves. It’s all about survival of the self, and prioritizing your own safety when it gets threatened. But supposedly the transcendent thing about “love” is this superhuman ability to sacrifice yourself altruistically. The filmmakers probably felt it would be answering too many questions if he did it or didnt. They just wanted to pose the question, like Socrates

      • English

        If you think about it, the rabbits are all single people too. There is such a strong theme of killing others for your own survival. It makes you feel bad for eating meat when you consider the soul in each animal. But the people in the woods would starve otherwise. They were all willing to kill each other in order to survive, even John C Reilly, they all had no loyalty and no compunction about it because they needed to live. Short sighted dude even let her starve for days just because they had nothing in common anymore. I kept thinking about how shes still starving in the restaurant sipping water, and the woods people were not going to take care of her. She is dependent on his willingness to support her, like when short sighted dude was trying to be friends with john c reilly in order to survive, so SOME element of survival was going on with her after that. I dont feel like he could have loved her too much to let her starve. He would rather poke his eyeballs out so that they have something in common, than give a shit about her without seeing himself in her. Sort of like how humans dont seem to give a shit about the suffering of others unless they personally relate (see themselves in it). We are all just trying to keep ourselves going even if it is just a reflection. I mean this is what the movie might be saying, or not. I personally think there is more to life than this but who knows what it’s really all about

      • English

        If you think about it, the rabbits are all single people too. There is such a strong theme of killing others for your own survival. It makes you feel bad for eating meat when you consider the soul in each animal. But the people in the woods would starve otherwise. They were all willing to kill each other in order to survive, even John C Reilly, they all had no loyalty and no compunction about it because they needed to live. Short sighted dude even let her starve for days just because they had nothing in common anymore. I kept thinking about how shes still starving in the restaurant sipping water, and the woods people were not going to take care of her. She is dependent on his willingness to support her, like when short sighted dude was trying to be friends with john c reilly in order to survive, so SOME element of survival was going on with her after that. I dont feel like he could have loved her too much to let her starve. He would rather poke his eyeballs out so that they have something in common, than give a shit about her without seeing himself in her. Sort of like how humans dont seem to give a shit about the suffering of others unless they personally relate (see themselves in it). I get the feeling in the film that it’s actually just a mythology that theyve bought into though, like how relationships are talked about as if there are “rules.” Like they cant tell the difference between the rules and their true feelings and it conflicts. My first reaction before looking it up was that he would not do it and just lie to her, because it serves the self preservation and the lying thing. He would have to lie to everyone in the world though. I was also thinking theyd never really survive anyway bc they dont have papers so how would they get jobs or a house or buy food? If they were both blind theyd really have trouble but at the very least they could have just made up something to “have in common” to tell people about why they were together, or else he would just need to pretend to be blind forever. They established that the lie would probably not last anyway. So yeah people are probably right about him becoming a Lobster but also the hotel people would have likely turned him into “something nobody wants to be” as the heartless woman said, so who knows?

    • English

      One element of the story seemed to be the essence of true “love” and a theme was that none of the couples were willing to sacrifice themselves for their partner. I think it was about the superficiality of what we romanticize about relationships and “love.” When she first tells him she’s blind, they have a regular conversation up until she says she lied about the haircut THEN he gets upset. The idea that relationships must be totally honest to work is 1 theme, and the idea that partners in love will die for each other is the next. These are shown in different scenarios, but consistently every character is more concerned about self-preservation than self-sacrifice. Arguably, the short sighted people have a legitimate romance, more than anyone else in the movie and are willing to risk everything for it. Which is why it’s weird that it almost falls apart when things change (a metaphor for how people in relationships say their partner “changed” so it ruined things maybe? Partners need to “grow together” or separate?) But given the pattern, the biggest theme has been self sacrifice versus self preservation and I saw too much hesitation to believe he did it, but maybe that’s why it is left up to the imagination. Maybe it’s so you would ask yourself, is there any relationship in my life that I would be willing to stick a steak knife into my eyeball to keep? Not one, but two eyeballs. Your answer maybe says more about how you view the limits of love than anything. I also think this movie reveals what it FEELS like to be single or in a relationship. Single and looking people often feel like their lives are at stake and the clock is ticking. As a loner I can attest to the “pain without anyone to put on ointment” thing but dont connect to the punishments part. I guess that’s where the movie loses the metaphor in favor of the plot. Or i just didnt get that part (read somebodys comment about divorced people and cynics and that makes sense too)

      • English

        When you stop looking for love is when you fall the hardest, or maybe that’s part of it. When you give up on the quest and live in the jungle the real thing catches you almost against your will. You didnt want it but it comes up. BUT it always starts with a sense that you see yourself reflected in another person, somehow. That’s so common. You see somebody who “gets you.” It’s your own mirror reflection youre enamored with in that way. The part that makes you love them is the part that was already yours all along. When that changes, the relationship goes sideways I guess. According to this movie, anyway.

  2. royce

    I’m sorry, I couldn’t watch the end. As soon as he left the table with the steak knife…….I quit watching. “Bada bing”.

  3. Kate

    I was wondering (painful as it was to think of) if it was possible to stab yourself in one eye and then do the other eye. Like, first of all = PAIN. But then, it would be hard to see what you’re doing, right? I imagine he does go through with it, but I was hoping he wouldn’t.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Right! Like, so much so that should I just cobble together two knives to do it simultaneously?!? SOMETHING?

      Or maybe he should just book it out the door! hahahah.

  4. Kate

    PS: Interesting to read elsewhere on your site that you are a Christian — me, too, and the journeys of the characters in the film got me thinking about faith and the afterlife. Specifically, it made me realize that the hopeful Christian belief of a heavenly afterlife for believers (even for single ones, haha) was in stark contrast to the bleak fates of the uncoupled characters in the film. In fact, you could compare the film’s worldview with that of Paul, who recommends being single — something that I have found the Church to do half-heartedly, at best.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Oh wow.
      I could talk on nineteen of these points you have made for hours and hours and hours. Yeah, Paul was pretty outspoken on this topic. “I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.” Right? But yeah, we completely disregard any and all of that.

      But look at the idea of divorce. Throughout the old testament the Jews divorced at will. And when Jesus was asked about it, he was like – Moses gave you divorce because of the hardness of your hearts. Which means they got it wrong for hundreds and hundreds of years. I think the church today is similarly wrong on how we treat singles… (and also divorce, but that’s another topic.) But Christians aren’t alone in this bias. The world at large basically shuns singles as being broken.

      I have a cousin that is single because he wants to get into China and other illegal areas to share the gospel, solely because he doesn’t want to endanger anyone else. heheh. I mean, that is a high calling. But dangit if he doesn’t catch a lot of crap about it. But welcome Kate to the party. Thanks for commenting and introducing yourself.


      • greg

        Oh my gosh, I remember reading that line when I was (unfortunately) a sexually active teen. The one that got me was right after Kate’s reference (1 Corinthians, Chapter 7, Verse 8) “8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

        I was so confused, since I can’t understand how God’s word is saying (I’m paraphrasing here) that it is better to live life without sex. Well, if we all took that advice, which somehow might lead to a closer relationship with God (?!!), then humanity would essentially end with that generation.

        One more thing I’ll have to ask God someday, if I’m not too busy being blown away by how awesome He is and singing his praises.

      • Taylor Holmes

        Hey there Greg,
        That is funny awesome. Just my own 2 cents, definitely don’t think Paul was proscribing abstinance as a form of rule of any sort. He’s talking about those called to spreading the gospel or actively spending time working in missions. Or just to advocate on dedicating one’s life to something higher than marriage. He knew that most would marry, right. And in fact he was married once himself (members of the Sanhedrin were required to take a wife).

        But yeah, that is a fascinating passage that makes one think long and hard about what is really important.

  5. Kate

    My take is that the ideal is to be single, so you can totally devote yourself to God – whether in missions, or in a secular life, but focused on Him. But I think Paul knew that this was a very difficult thing for most people. But also that in marriage (and with kids) you can’t help but not be as focused on God as you would if you were single. In fact, in church, my pastor has talked several times about how when you’re married with children it can be very easy to just get all caught up in that – you’re so busy! – you forget about God entirely.
    I do think, according to the Bible, single Christians are supposed to be abstinent.

    In the movie, God was whatever entity was rounding up all the single people and making sure everyone was in a relationship = the state, I guess.

    That makes me realize that if the Colin Farrell character had NOT gouged out his eyes (!!) he would have had to start all over, and find someone else… that is, unless he was able to sit down with Rachel Weisz and say, “Hey, are you SURE we need to both be blind? How are we going to get home, anyway?”

    Maybe he thought he would either be blind or be a lobster.

    • Taylor Holmes

      The movie was harpooning this ideal that we have come to believe in. This happily ever after coupling that we think is real. They HAVE to be similar or else they can’t couple. And even fakes are found out and punished for their subterfuge. Right?

      So there is not an option for him to keep his eyes. The system won’t allow for it. The movie pushes the idea of this perfect symbiosis so far that it becomes hard to even watch. Which is the point. We believe in this happily ever after business so much that it is ruining us. We should allow singles to be single and we shouldn’t ever force them to find this “perfect mate” that is out there for them.

      When I was young, I literally believed in the ideal of one perfect person for me. Now that I’ve been married almost 20 years, I can PROMISE YOU it’s hogwash. I even went so far as to do the math on the likelihood of finding that “perfect someone” based on like 10 key characteristics. And I promise you it’s impossible.

      Regardless, I did love the black humor of this movie and the way they force the question that society is refusing to deal with. Which is, can singles POSSIBLY be normal? Or are they broken? heheh. Right? And its silly when said out loud, but dang if we don’t try our best to shove everyone into this mold we think is perfect for everyone.

      But yeah, if he ran… he was eventually going to become a lobster. If he stayed… he was becoming a blind and lost lobster as well. Right? He’s a lobster regardless. And his choice as a lobster is not a coincidence. He didn’t pick EAGLE! Which has perfect vision and is fleet of wing. He picked a blind, cold, dark, horrifying existence – which, he’ll have either way. My 2 cents anyway.

  6. Moofveque Tique

    Playing the devil’s advocate, I don’t believe he does it. Instead, he goes back and tells her that he did it. Playing along with the vibe of the story, it ties back to the family with the incessant bleeding nose and John, which completes the elliptical arc that shapes the storyboard.

  7. Jonathan Moore

    There’s also a 5th scenario..

    I wondered if she actually wasn’t blind, as there is a possibility that when the waitress refills her glass, she thanks her, recognizing that there’s a server there. Yes, it’s possible she heard the sound of the water in the glass and put 2 and 2 together, but I enjoy considering that she’s been planted to test his loyalty all along, sort of a “Romeo and Juliet” type of scenario

    • Taylor

      Totally picking up what you are putting down here. Do you REALLY love me or are you just avoiding singleness here bub? And there is pecident for this in the movie – totally loving it.

      Only problem? He carves his eyes out? Next up, your turn dearest. But then the question is… DOES SHE DO IT! hahah.

      So great.

    • Jsemj

      Yes I believe in the Romeo and Juliet scenario as well. In fact even if she was blind at the time it could have been a temporary situation we’ll just like the guns unloaded. He blinds himself and she gains her eyesight back. The Loner Leader seemed to expose the hypocrisy of the society they were a part of. Even the “singing” hotel managers were willing kill one of the others. Would the”nose bleed” couple survive the truth?There is no true love, yet this society in the movie is based on it. Hypocrisy… no masterbation… But your forced to dry hump. So they would fit quite nicely into the existing world order with him lying to her. It is quite popular today to say one thing and do another.

    • Ben

      I’m almost fully convinced that she could see by the end of the movie. Her behavior in that last scene suggests it might be so. Otherwise that end scene was kind of drawn out and pointless.

    • Dan T

      That was my take on the ending as well… it certainly seemed as if “Blind Woman” was sitting there looking about, gazing out the window as a huge truck would pass by. It just hit me: “She’s faking!”

      So I imagined he would come back, also faking… and they would be a “match” again… with each lying to the other about not being able to see.

      It’s too horrible to even contemplate that he would actually blind himself and then she would admit that she wasn’t really blind…but that would be another option, I guess.

  8. Felix

    Right at the end of the credits there are sounds of the Ocean. . . this suggests that he didn’t cut out his eyes but left the dinner, got caught/choose to return to the hotel and was turned into a Lobster.

    • Erik Howarth

      I noticed the ocean waves sounds as well, and came to the opposite conclusion. I too had been left wondering about the fate of his eyesight and of their relationship. But the waves made me think that they made it to Italy’s or Greece’s coast after all, which had been his destination in the movie. Plus the screen went black before credits rolled

      Now I’m wondering about your interpretation..

    • Arthur

      Or. The sound of the ocean is in the background, because when you lose one sense, the others become better.

      And there is another version of the ending:
      They go to a doctor and he transplants one eye to her, so they have a thing in common and they both could see.

      *Captain flies away

      • Vendelis

        Thats exactly what i thought when he asked what is her blood type

      • Ross

        Brilliant! This is what I thought too. Being a high brow art movie, it allows the audience to come to their own conclusions. But, when he asked her blood type that was something that kept me wondering. Obviously, the city has advanced technology if they can turn people into animals. So, he cut out one of his eyes to give to her. There are so many other less bloody ways to blind oneself… Acid, rubbing alcohol, etc… A steak knife implies he cuts out one of his eyes to give to her. Obviously, the hero of the story transcends the social norms and he does what he knows is right throughout the movie.

    • Angel Miller

      So, there’s the sound of the ocean at the end and the movie is called The Lobster. To me, those are pretty big clues as to what becomes of him.

  9. Chris

    Personally, like with most movies of this sort, the ending is really of no consequence; the discussion that the piece evokes as a whole is. As a writer I constantly analyze manuscripts and plays, and I think it is obvious that The Lobster had no intention whatsoever of providing its viewers with any answer to the multitude of questions we are left with. And, what happens when there are no answers given… Duh, there is a long discussion that follows. This is called RESONANCE. The movie’s ending resonates well because it is so vague that a reasonable person can only sit there and ponder at its intent. And again, therein lies the irony of its intent as we type here in the comments page trying to decipher a puzzle that was never intended to be solved in the first place.

    Like with most art, each individual is going to subjectively get something different out of it. Can you grasp at the major themes? Sure, but trying to think up a definitive answer as to what happened in the end is an utter waste of time. We will never know. The piece pokes fun at the absurdity of relationships, the extents we will go to be in them for the sake of convention, and the horrid truth, that when push comes to shove if we must choose whose going to suffer, me or my partner… well, a pragmatic person chooses their partner every time because guess what, we are all in essence STILL ANIMALS. This is shown time and again in the piece: when the hotel owner who rates his love for his wife at a fourteen out of fifteen yet chooses to pull the trigger; when the short sighted woman yells, “Why didn’t you blind him instead?”; when the leader of the loners pushes her trustworthy friend in front of her in order to restrain the short sighted woman.

    Survival trumps relationship, but here is a world where relationship equals survival. When relationship no longer equals survival (and in fact, being single equals survival with the loners) we go back to survival but the status/need of being in a relationship is still ingrained into our being out of convention. Oh what a tangled web we weave. Ultimately, the wisdom I garnered here was that no matter what type of relationship you are in, eventually you sacrifice some shred of yourself for the sake of keeping said relationship in tact. One might even go so far as to claim it isn’t the relationship between two people but our relationship with how society views us that we are truly making that sacrifice for. After all, if Colin and Rachel’s love was pure, they’d be able to see beyond the absurdity of social convention; Colin would have no need to blind himself and Rachel would never ask him to do that for her. Why must love be so complicated?

    • Gillian

      I like that, Chris — it does make sense that there *isn’t* a definite ending, that it’s purposely ambiguous not to be coy, but to inspire a stronger connection to the movie and questions and discussion about the possibilities. No wonder I couldn’t pick one. 😉

  10. L

    He couldn’t do it…the title of the movie explains his fate…the sound of the ocean a fitting end. I didn’t like this movie…watching it made me think about how often we choose to do things which can end up wasting precious time…there was nothing of value to learn from this POS movie…not entertaining at all…the dog scene was horrific. The ONLY funny thing about this weirdly so-called “comedy” is a person choosing to become a lobster.

    • Tweet

      You know as simple as this statement is, I actually see this as being the truth. I was reading all of the comments looking at how things were received from people’s different pov; and when I got to your comment, I realized….we as humans have a need to INCESSANTLY dissect and evaluate things so much, that we fail to see/believe what’s in front of us. Is that another stigma of society? That everything has to be challenged? Debated? No matter what happened in the movie, in the end he never found love. He was hopeful though! Put anyone in a atmosphere of similar circumstances and if theres a attraction between the 2, LUST WILL FORM…..Infatuation. But infatuation has a limit. And he realized that. It’s a shame that people are being punished for not conforming…..

  11. Poppy Davis

    You asked if any content singles would speak up. I was single and depressed, then single and trying not to be, then gave up, then content. 5 years this process happened. Then I met my husband.

    About the ending… there are obviously so many more possible endings than 3. I would like to think he didn’t go through with it and understood true love instead. He walks back to the table and tells her, convinces her of his love and hers, and they become an odd couple. Call me a very, very silly optimist. Which is odd because I think of myself as cynical or at least rational.

    I loved the movie but it took me forever to figure out the allegory.

  12. L

    In hindsight, and after having more ideas burble up since watching The Lobster, I no longer feel this movie is a POS. Because of all the varied comments, each differing in perception, I now respect the “art” of the movie; what it evokes despite the lunacy, absurdity. I didn’t like The Lobster’s stoic world, disturbing scenes…but do like and appreciate the many perspectives contributing on this forum…a hallmark of a good movie.

  13. Chuck

    He didn’t do it, and turned into a lobster. As mentioned, the ocean sounds at the very end give the final clue. But as he is heading to the bathroom, the toilet sign is in red, indicating danger/death. Further ahead, is the exit sign in green which signifies life/freedom and the way they indicate exit is a picture of a man running. While he does end up in the men’s room, he turns where the exit sign is. To me, this signified his exit.

    • Taylor Holmes

      After all…
      the movie is named the Lobster, not the HAPPILY MARRIED MAN! Hahahah. I agree Chuck. I think you nailed it.

      Ps – merry Christmas.

      • Chuck

        You have a great website and I love that it provides a forum for people to share their insights and views into the intricacies of film.
        The Lobster strongly reminded me of one of my other favorite movies, which is Logan’s Run. So, going back to the washroom sign in The Lobster that had a man running to indicate exit, David was a “runner.” In such, Logan was also a runner.
        Have a great new year!

      • Taylor Holmes

        THANKS CHUCK!! Such a happy comment.

        The more I read these comments that you are posting here – and the more I think about that ending… the more I really do think that he chose not to gouge out his eyes. And he chose to live a single life as a lobster at the bottom of a sea. I mean, it is called The Lobster after all. Took me long enough to come to a conclusion on my own. Phew.


      • L

        I, too, came to the same conclusion about the movie because of its title, The Lobster; it is a huge hint of what the main character ended up as.

        This movie was indeed like a nightmare; bleak and otherworldly. It is fascinating to read the many comments based on what each person knows in their own unique margins of perception and how any resemblance from this movie was relatable to the world in which we live in. It’s also impressive and a relief no one has trolled anyone’s opinion! Truly, the beauty and strange anger of our world is that we all see things differently based on what we know…or think we know lol.

        What I initially thought of this movie was how it couldn’t really follow a pattern or relate to the reality in which we live. It’s challenging in our own here and now but much worse in The Lobster.

        Logan’s Run was a futuristic society in a dark existence much like The Lobster; however, it was produced during the time of other films like Solient Green which depicted futuristic populations impacted by the need of food provisions. Those two earlier movies placed a hierarchy on the necessities of life and how more or less population affects where love and a life partner fits in.

        There’s irony from the many commentary contributions making our lives all the more opposite of The Lobster’s existence whereby someone will approve and disapprove of the opinions given–which is very much like what we do in this world in finding a mate, friend or place we feel we belong or feel comfortable.

        The Lobster is a stoic world on all levels; devoid of rationality. It’s that nightmare we awake from and are glad was only a dream.

        I’ve commented more than intended over a movie not particularly liked but in which there’s a symphony of commentary to read that is of more depth and meaning.

  14. eureekasprings

    I won’t repeat all the interesting things that were said…I’ll just say that I have really benefited from all of you sharing what you got from the movie & agree with most of what I’ve read here today.

    One thing that hasn’t yet been mentioned is that determined singles were just as unaccepting of any coupling in the single world as couples were unaccepting of singles in the couples’ world. Neither side was truly free, since there were essentially strict societal rules on either side. For example, look at how those who tried to move on from single life were severely punished. As a single person, I can tell you that, sadly, it can feel like a betrayal when yet another friend settles down, since they tend to fall off the face of the earth. We tend to want others to fit into our lives so we can celebrate the lives we’ve chosen with them. Consequently, there was simply no place for those who didn’t fit neatly into one of the two categories, & the tragedy was that our pair of “lobsters” was the only couple who appeared to me to be really content with one another.


    • Taylor Holmes

      Made him hack?!? Oh my gosh. And I thought that The Lobster was the pinnacle of dark cinema. Daggum. Admitting it, dying to see it. Love dark noir weirdness and deciphering the chaos. Can’t wait. Didn’t see a target release date. Would love to know generally when…

  15. Yeboi

    I actually think he kills himself. This is for a number of reasons.
    1) throughout the whole entirty of the film the idea of death is presented as being inevitable and at times even a third option. This is shown through the woman who (spoilers!) throws herself from a window (though the fact that this fails at first further displays that its not that simple) and the murder of his brother. Its also shown through the use of graves in the film, with the metaphor of him “digging his own grave” being just as blunt as the dialouge in the picture is. Another in the many key examples of this would be the horrible woman he is with and how he wishes to use a longing for suffering to impress her.
    2) Another reason lies in the cinematography. Being a bit of a film buff, I really enjoy when movies use unique shot progressions and displays (and this movie made sure to let you know that it was doing this from the beginning). Now- the reason this is important is because clues are scattered about the film for this (though ill only talk about the key few at the end). It is very important to note that in the shot of him walking into the bathroom all of the answers are revealed. First off, the exit door and an exit sign are center frame- indicating importance. The bathroom is also off to the right, meaning that he has to enter the right side of the shot in order to carry out his actions. In accordance with stage direction, this means that his actions and intentions are difficult, thats also why he is consistantly face right as opposed to the left (and could also be why the right side of the bathroom screen was dark- this could possibly indicate fear because it is in contrast to the left side which is normally associated with hope and goodness). In the shot where he is holding the knife to his face, it is very interesting to note that the knife has to come from the right side of the screen, meaning that it is nescesary that he carry out the action and that it is dreaded. Now, the only question alongside all of this information is “what were his intentions?” and this is where the information begins to muddle together. Near the end we see him sitting and acting in the middle of the frame facing right. The choice to place him on the left of the table is powerful because it displays that she is what is driving him to do what he feels like he must do. We can tell, however, that by trying to see her features for a last time and shoving the paper towel into his mouth (not to mention all of the knife stuff) that he will never see her again (meaning that he cannot be lying to her about his sight, leaving only the few possibilities remaining).
    3)The final long shot of her waiting is also vital to understanding that he does not return to her. Now- it was not uncommon for the movie to show long shots of waiting characters but it is important to note that the characters are never left waiting like she was at the end. The fact that she was left waiting is a key indicator that he did not return. This gets rid of another ending- meaning that he is left with either the choice to kill himself or leave.
    4) Now knowing that he had intention in the face of difficulty we can now see that he actions were not of cowardice, regardless of which of the final routes he chose. Though, I will say that with the last two options I believe the final- unseen option of him killing himself is much more in style and tune with the films dark humour. I say this because the protagonist in the film is one that has chosen to run away in the past, but is reminded consitantly that regardless of his chosen route he will die. Now, having picked the route of escaping to the city he is left with an inevitable death. Whether he sees death as an escape or a nessesity it is clear he chose it because it was a nesessary end.
    5) by saying nesessary end Im of course reffering to a few things. The first being how the Lobster mating cycle even works and how that plays into the film. Now- when Lobsters mate the mate in a way reffered to as “Serial Monogomy”, meaning that they have a mate for a bit of time until something happens (such as death) or the female lobster grows back her shell and leaves to find a new mate (as shown by the beginning of the film where the woman who likes biscuits goes out and kills a donkey. We can presume that this donkey represents her gaining independance).
    6) Now, when talking about the endings of pictures people always forget about the beginning. In the beginning of The Lobster we get to see a shot of a woman shooting a donkey dead (who in this world can be assumed a former human) and the protagonist on a chouch, being informed that a man who wears glasses exists by a woman. Now, I argue that this is the voice of his former wife, and that she left him for another man with the same key characteristic. Not to mention an already heavy emphasis on eyes and the fact that we never see the former wife.

    I do think that it is funny though that the film operates in the way it does. Im sure there are more reasons why it is shown that he killed himself at the end of the film, but these are just a few key ones I noticed. I guess Im saying that what Im thinking happened is a poetic way of saying that he found his final mate, and that by killing himself he ended the cycle that lobsters go through. Not to mention that that sort of simple end perfectly suits the style of the film!

  16. Steph

    What if there was a fourth option? What if he goes to do it but through the pain went through his eye. What if he died on the bathroom floor cause the scissors went through his head? He had a mouth full of paper towel. No one to here him scream. It could be ages till someone goes to the bathroom she didn’t look like she sat there that long. What if in the end he just dies.

  17. nzo

    option 4
    he goes back and tells her he couldnt do it but loves her anyway
    he ll need those eyes to be able to take care of the both of them

    • Cheri

      NZO, Your Option 4 was my thought as well. I like a happy ending where love prevails. They should be able to find another common trait. However, it was not that kind of film. I don’t think any couple in this film would live happily ever after. Remember the man in the hotel who proclaimed his love for his wife, but when pressed, said that he could survive without her, but she could not survive without him. And he was ready to shoot her to save himself. All the characters seemed to have that out for themselves attitude.

  18. Tania

    I think it is not important at all if he did it or not. What matters here is how STUPID and CONDITIONED we are, living in a completely FAKE society where nobody is able to live without romanticism. Get married, fall in love, have children, fall in love, have a partner, fall in love…endless stupidity of conditioned beings.. all this have absolutely NOTHING to do with what we call LOVE.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Totally agree. It is the bigger point that the movie is trying to make, you are correct. This system that we live in and beaten down by. Reminds me of David Foster Wallace’s graduation speech entitled “What is water”, you should look it up and read the speech word for word. It’s brilliant. Here, I’ll snip in the bit that is

      “There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”

      The point being, we cannot see the social mores and framework that has taught us, forced us, beaten us into a mold and a shape that defines living. What’s interesting to me is just how invisible these rules are.

      I’ve always wanted to write a time travel short story that spoke specifically to this detail. Right now, you and I Tania, are engaged in something that could have gotten me killed a hundred years ago, but we don’t give a second thought today. It was thought improper at best, or tantamount to rape, for a man to even say hello or make a comment to a woman without a proper introduction first. Seriously. Just wasn’t done. But today? This is nothing. It’s less than nothing. My point simply being, that we are defined and transfixed by these rapidly moving and changing mores that define us more than we even realize.

      What is water?

      • L

        Taylor, you’ve given brilliant perception to another facet the Lobster movie seems to present perhaps by accident more than intent the creators of this movie had in mind.

    • Cynthia

      But that’s not all the movie’s about, or we wouldn’t hate the forest people, too.

  19. Tracy

    Agree that the actual ending does not matter and the film is a commentary on the absurd nature of relationships, and singledom. The title “The Lobster” does show that he is a lobster regardless of the outcome (whether he remains a person or actually becomes a lobster). He is blind throughout the film just as they all are due to societal constraints and conditioning (love the water metaphor mentioned above). Also, when analyzing the ocean sound after the final scene keep in mind there is also a clapping portion which indicates there is a success (according to the film’s societal notions) — such as a successful union of some sort. The ocean sound cannot be analyzed without considering the clapping sound. Movie was thought-provoking and sad…a kind of dystopian look at the inability to achieve (or maintain) real love in our constructed world. The movie is one view and it is a relevant view. I like to live my life considering all the options and, yes, I do believe in love. We do not live in a universe of endedness — all options are out there.

  20. M.S.

    So…at the start, when David’s wife leaves him… what happens to the wife? Did she find someone else or will she end up at a hotel too?

    Perhaps this is a commentary on how humans try to find some connection (love?) as a reason to couple….and apparently over 50% of marriages fail. How about those arranged marriage cultures? Do they have the right idea…couple first, then work towards making the relationship work?

    I think at the end, he left. The camera made a hood point of making sure we noticed the highway and all the cars in the background.

    • Ed

      His wife left him for another man.

      The first line of the film is David saying “Does he wear glasses or contact lenses?”. Once you see the rest of it you understand the context – David and his wife had short-sightedness in common and therefore he knows or assumes that her lover must be myopic too.

  21. CarlB

    I have been placed slightly on the autistic scale, not very far along but enough where logical and factual data affects my thoughts more. The first thing I think of is the story progresses linearly with no hint of doubt during the restaurant scene hes bound to the destruction of his sight. The problem is hes not knowledgeable enough to determine how much pressure and depth he needs to go to just take out the eye and not enter the brain. I was also getting the feeling that he was about to position the butt of the knife on the mirror and force his head onto the point, maybe even doing it in a swift motion. thus the only thing I could see as an outcome was a quick death on the bathroom floor. Now he might have made it long enough to be found and emergency services be called, but since he used up his time at the hotel and is a fugitive automatic Lobster. So she would have been left alone at the table and eventually the police would be called to detain this “single” woman and she would be taken to the hotel or animalized immediately too

  22. EllieM

    Carl B, I like your idea that he has been caught and is being turned into a lobster, hence the prolonged waiting scene.

    I kept thinking we were going to see David through the window behind her at some point.

    Although I DO think it is clear that she was definantly made blind, a small part of me wondered when we see blind woman waiting at the table as she turns her head towards the waiter and then the window if she could see; if David returned to her pretending that he had blinded himself, would she continue to pretend to be blind or call him out? I can imagine in this world that they would be so desperate to be a couple with something in common that they would both continue the lie of being blind to each other and the rest of the world for the rest of their lives.

    • Annonymous

      Seriously…fuck this movie. It gave me an anxiety attack because it hit home so hard. If i knew this was a psychological comedy I would have never watched it.

      Complete mind job.

  23. Sam328

    My takeaways from the movie:

    People discriminate against others not like themselves. There are three groups of people in this movie–loners (live in the woods), prospective lovers (live in a hotel) and married couples.

    The prospective lovers go on hunts to tranquilize loners, bring them back to a hotel and turn them into animals. The loners sneak into couple territory to make the couples doubt their love, wrecking their perfect relationships.

    For relationships, each prospective lover looks for someone with the same physical or mental flaw as they have themselves; so they can become couples.

    Three reasons why I think David made himself blind:

    1. The mouthful of paper towels w/ knife to his eye.
    2. Fade to black at the end of the restaurant scene.
    3. Sound of the ocean where the short sighted woman (Weisz) was camped out at, after she was blind.

  24. Bethany Rosen

    she is left alone in the restaurant , and is rescued by a good Samaritan who brings her to a blind man and they become a couple, they dine in restaurants daily because neither one can cook. One day while dining in a new establishment, they order….wait for it…..the special of the day, Lobster..It tasted vaguely familiar.

  25. LeahO

    He doesn’t become a lobster. After leaving her behind at the restaurant, he is eventually caught and is turned into “the animal no one wants to be.” When singles run, they don’t get a choice as to what animal they become. They are punished by being turned into undesirable animals. I think he is the donkey that is shot in the beginning of the movie.

  26. Aimee

    Just another thing to make this more uncertain, Lobsters are blind.

    So I think he does it. And in that sense becomes the Lobster.

  27. Shells

    But it’s very obvious at the end that SHE CAN SEE. And she doesn’t stop him. Whether or not he does it is beside the point. Doesn’t seem to be any unconditional or “true” love in this movie.

  28. Wes

    The Lobster was a film I’d had in my IMDb Watch-list for several months prior to getting the chance to see it. Wish I’d known the man responsible for directing “Dogtooth” was also the one conducting this torturous symphony.

    Ugh…what an ugly, disappointing film. Nearly 30 minutes passed by before I realized nothing of interest was going to come of this (despite that cast, despite the premise.) Much like “Dogtooth” there’s an interesting story to be told; not only doesn’t that happen in an entertaining, thought-provoking way it defies moving in the general direction of “Hey, now we’re getting somewhere.”

    There are no surprises, here. There is no humor, not even inky-black. No-one in this cast shines or stands-out (I get they live in a dystopian society, but come on; even a robot can have a personality or make us feel empathy for it.)

    There are two factions, neither worth belonging to. Shot by both sides, so to speak. No problem there; leaving one bad situation to find the other’s just as bad is life in a nutshell. It’s the way it was presented:

    Pointless slow-motion shots, pointless conversations that lead nowhere, a McGuffin concerning being turned into whatever animal you choose which smacks of lazy writing, icy acting (male and female) which added to the feeling of torpor and savagery, and again NO surprises or unexpected happenings.

    John C. Reilly’s character didn’t have a lisp that I could discern; the heck was that about? Ben Whishaw’s keeps giving himself nose-bleeds; he’d have gave himself concussions by the end of the 1st day. Colin Farrell was married before;why would anyone think he wouldn’t be again, unless brought to that creepy place?

    Lots of stupidity and coldness in this over-rated clunker. As for the ending, it’s no different than “Who poisoned the coffee in The Hateful Eight?” Who cares; everyone was a low-life or criminal or despicable in that room so what did it matter? Same goes for this instance: she can see, she can’t, he blinds himself, he flees out the bathroom window; what’s the difference? Everyone fails Humanity 101 in “The Lobster” and it’s not a question worth pursuing.

    Do yourself a favor: Watch “Intermission,” “In Bruges,” “Ondine” for Colin Farrell vehicles worth your time. This one’s just a sludgy drudge through cold mud.

  29. Bud

    There are really infinite options but a fourth option:

    :: He goes back and tries to convince her that he loves her regardless of whether they have a similar trait and they are both better off if he keeps his sight and he will stay with her no matter what.

    And by the way, yes, being single over 40 really really really sucks. I have trouble shedding the societal pressures. I have trouble even realizing the pressure is coming from society and not from within.

    • Ed

      Nice idea, but unfortunately totally at odds with both his character and the whole world of this movie as a whole.

  30. Dre

    Im going with option 3.
    Lobsters are blind, and he escapes from the hotel. So, he doesnt want to be a “lobster” (blind).

  31. Ed

    I think the possibility that did it but died as a result of his injuries is a strong one.

    Of course the ending is ambiguous and presents numerous possibilities and in so doing causes us to dig deeper into the motivations and attributes of the characters as well as the broader meaning of the film.

    But when visiting the loner leader’s parents he says he would “literally die for her”. And with the other repeated references to death throughout I tend to think that’s what he has tragically done.

  32. Monika

    I agree to you… I’m not sure which of the last two options does he choose..but it is sure by what you stated… And the fact that the short sighted lady wanted to get rid of their common trait ‘short sightedness ‘ at the first place…a thing that could have proved fatal for their relationship.., proves that the relationship was already impure, and honestly it’s kinda heartbreaking if the main character falls for someone who’s love for him is impure and selfish and that he gets himself blind, in fact I really was looking forward to an ending where he paired up with the leader of the loners, I really feel on some evidences that she had feelings for him and deserved him better… And probably the reason why she was jealous and why she blinded the lady and not him , atleast she didn’t deserve to be left out to be eaten by dogs, the part where I was totally against David

  33. GaryC

    Hi Guys.. i had a random observation of the film during it and all ur comments are brilliant! I dont think anyone has touched on this.. where are the homosexual people in the hotel? Why must they choose one way or another? Why didnt John C. Reilly choose the lady who gave him butter biscuits, their commonality and would have fulfilled him sexually, instead of masturbation? Was he afraid of being homosexual as he seemed happier in male company in the film?

    So in this where were all the homosexuals? If David had admitted his homosexual tendency would he have been changed to an animal unknowingly?

    Similarly does the director allude to this in the Leader of the Loners character.. i detected flirting and attraction with the maid of the hotel, the only affection she portrayed.. she then preferred herself and all others to be single than admit her sexuality and forced this upon those outside of it to do the same.. Possibly a probe at the unacceptance of people in society and the traditional feeling (in Ireland where I am from anyway) that people who are single must be homosexual or odd!!

    Just to add another dimension to the craziness this film has created in this forum!

  34. Bahan

    He removes one eye and gives it to her. Voila! now they both have something in common.

  35. Anubindu Pramanick

    The Lobster movie was too good and the director and the writer was outstanding to put up even a thought like that. Your review was okay but you missed some points. You only spoke about single people and their despairs. The movie also focuses on how we take for granted the human life. Like at some part, I think the blind girl in the movie says, “now he will know how tough it will be to reach for parts in his body that he could while he was a human.”
    The writer also shows us the possibility of this “dystopian” world in the future and it also shows some similarity in the present world and its drawbacks. Like at present we have hunger issues due to a finite amount of food and water, health issues, overpopulation, nuclear war, global warming etc. I know it is too far fetched, but for a moment, THINK. Is it really that impossible? That 100 or even years from now on?
    The writer did not ever mention what was the reason for this absurd condition in the world and left us to our imagination. My point is was far too thoughtfully made movie to only talk about the despair of single people.
    In the distant future, when food becomes too less and population becomes uncontrollable, the society will take drastic steps. And maybe we wont be much different than this dystopian world portrayed in the film

    • L

      The Lobster is strangely listed as a “Comedy” although had a movie genre existed called, “Absurdity,” it would have found its niche. Often life is called absurd.

  36. elkarreneskutik

    I really liked the movie and I liked it even more after reading all your theories!! And although I am not going to solve the mystery since I can’t come up with more possibilities I would like to mention two points I see missing in this page:

    1) As GaryC mentions, I would like to hear the different theories about why bisexuality is forbidden in the hotel. If I am not wrong it was said that they had had some trouble and therefore the option was removed. I thought it might be related to the leader of the Loners even though I can’t really provide any reasoning to that. I just simply think it was not emphasized at the beginning with no purpose; not in this movie at least.

    2) What about the couple with bleeding noses? We have an open ending there too: she is left with a knife on her hand (as the main character at the end), a kid (the daughter) saying “kill him, mommy” and yet she does not move. Is this true love (she will love him regardless of not having a running nose) or will she kill him?

    Loved reading you all

  37. Matt Madeira

    I personally feel that of the 3 options cited here, option 3 is the only one I’m in favor of. Option 1 is par for the course, hence yawn. Option 2 is flat out lame. But Option 3 offers a break from the mold in that David decides that he loves short sighted woman regardless of the premise of the film, which is that it’s mandatory to have something ridiculous in common. Option 3 also has many different options of its own, does David tell her he did it, does he lie and say he does, but doesn’t? Just the fact that they would even discuss that they should be blind together to “fit in”, says to me that they are in love. Therefore, they could rationalize that and move forward as couple that once had something superficial in common. I could live with all three options, but find option 3 to be the most interesting.

    Option 4 would be that he comes back to the table with tissues over his face telling her he did it. Then he swats a fly or some kind of tell like that, subtlety suggesting to the viewer that he can still see with the eye that would’ve been hidden from the cameras vantage.

    Anyone who took the time to write anything on this site likes the film, whether they like to like it, or like to hate it

  38. Ove Nyström

    When the waiter comes she looks straight at him. She also looks out the window… My theory is that he blinds himself for her but she is faking it. 🙂

    • celeste

      Or choice 4. She actually isn’t blind and wants to see (pardon the pun) if he’ll do it. Option 5. Jams the steak knife in his jugular because lets face it– life has become exhausting.

  39. Jordan_Peterson

    Thank you so much for this great review/analysis. I came to understand the opening scene, but am leaving with a much better understanding of the film and especially the ending.

    Here are my two bitcoin cents:

    He definitely did NOT blind himself and he definitely LIES to her about it for the rest of their time together – which might in fact not be long.

    Decided for yourself: here are the clues.

    1. Limpo fakes the nosebleeds to make his relationship work. The movie gives us every reason to think the approach works, since there is every indication the couple was on their way through the final test on the yacht.

    2. The evil Loner Leader’s goal is to destroy/test relationships by exposing their weaknesses: the old hotel guy’s selfishness, Limpo’s lie, the non-lethal punishments for flirting.

    3. He asks to take on the yacht mission where it cements for him the idea that maybe the lie can work – since after all no one reacted how he probably expected. Nosebleed girl didn’t turn on Limpo. In fact, it kind of exposed how Limpo was so afraid that being exposed would end the relationship but it did not.

    4. The child took a STEAK KNIFE and wanted mom to kill David.

    5. The Kiwi – David already lies to her, the way she lied to him about the haircut when they first got together after the blinding.

    There is also the childishness of the views shared by the singles who stay single – that an external commonality is required for a relationship (hair, limp, lisp). Or be anal-milktoast out of desperation. Or how it is SO significant to David that his wife left him for another man who wears glasses (established at beginning of movie).

    Why did David’s wife leave him? It wasn’t about the glasses – there was something David was or wasn’t doing, some fatal flaw, which ruined the marriage. He never properly grieved and moved on, although he cried when he saw his dead brother.

    The change he had to make was he had to stop fixating on the trivial (like the waterproof ponchos on the captured loners) but also stop short of refusing to accept anything less than 100% Pure Truth like the evil Loner-Leader. Her punishment was perfect for them: if she had blinded him, it would not have been a test of his character of course he would still love Short-Sighted-Girl (SSG). This way, in order to continue to love SSG, he would HAVE TO blind himself so they still shared that commonality (which is brilliant of itself they are both shortsighted and fixated on the wrong things). UNLESS he was willing to change his shallow, dogmatic view and accept the sacrafice he would have to make day in and day out to MAKE THE RELATIONSHIP WORK.


    P.S. This movie is a masterpiece for people who are familiar with the work of Jordan B. Peterson – it so vividly captures this dilemma of our cultural view of modern relationships as well as aspects of fascism of the state AND the fascism of the anti-state (for lack of better term). The nihilism, the revenge against being itself, the archetypes – it is WOW.

  40. Ashley

    Just watched the movie. Totally think he DIDN’T do it. The moment she mentioned that he should be blind instead of her, I knew it was going downhill from there.

    Also, tried to rack my brain on the blood type question. Which I was speaking to my husband about, because he asks a lot of questions in that scene.

    He’s still trying to find something for them to have in common.!

    But I’m pissed she WANTED him to be blind. The blind leading the blind can be used literally here. It’s the worse, she’s the worse.

    I hope he just lied to her and lets the relationship teeter on until it’s finally over. Or he leads her in front a bus.

  41. bashadar

    Does seriously know one pay any attention to the narrator, Rachael Weisz character is the narrator for a good part of it, she tells us that they are fucking and get stabbed to death in their apartment, so he didn’t bolt, and since they were caught unaware and stabbed in the stomach I would say he did blind himself most likely

  42. Belle Ferro

    Some part of me thinks that he didn’t come back, or even bled to death. The narrator talks about him in a slight past tense, right before we discover who she really is (The Blind Woman). “I asked him many times what sort of animal he turned her into, but he always gave me the same answer, ‘That’s none of your concern.'”

  43. Wilson

    I think he likes to her. Party of the evidence is the fact that we see several examples of the same like: John pretends to have a bloody nose, David pretends to be a heartless man, and the Short Sighted Women pretends to have sight (briefly).
    I know for sure that he didn’t actually blind himself, because at the end of the credits, you’ll hear ocean waves, and if you’ll remember, David wanted to be a lobster because of their love of the sea. This suggests that either David becomes a lobster later on, or it simply implies that he’s not and never will be a man in love. Also, the title The Lobster suggests that the film considers it’s subject not as “David”, but as “the lobster”, once again implying he is, at heart, a loner.

  44. Donnell

    I did not read everyone’s comments and theories about the ending of The Lobster, but the first thing that came to my mind was…he choked to death on all the tissues/paper towels he stuffed in his mouth, because he was indeed alone because he and the blind woman had nothing in common. Foreshadowing from the,
    Man eats alone, demonstration at The Hotel earlier in the film. And in the hot tub when he refused to help the heartless woman who appeared to be choking on an olive, who he also had nothing in common with. Coincidence this final scene happens in a restaurant? Maybe, but I truly believe he chokes to death, alone with no one to help him.

    • Chris L

      But the only reason he didn’t help “heartless woman” is because he rightly assumed she was testing him.

      Honestly, I think the answer is choice 3. He was willing to lie to heartless woman in order to be with her, so the precedent was there.

  45. mary anne mader

    I say he doesn’t do it but goes back and tells her and then let’s her decide if she wants to still be with him.

  46. Lilli

    What about option 4? He bleeds out after he does it because he just stabbed a steak knife in his eyes.

    • Virginia Savage

      Yeah, this movie was a mind fuck indeed. I was pissed at the end…like I’ll never get back that wasted time. I know it’s dystopia. I know it’s social commentary. The way they talked to each other, so devoid of emotion….that is what really freaked me out. It was like they were texting each other… that devoid of feelings that terrified me. Cut off. Superficial. Heartless. Flat affect. Disconnected. Empty. No wonder they were alone…their lives were not worth living. Well, it did get me thincing anyway.

  47. Adrian

    I think we are told that it was option 1 (sadly) by the protracted “cut to black” at the end. David literally cut to black. I imagined that in the script it ended with the words “cut to black”.

    • Taylor Holmes

      This question intrigued me. And I figured, this is a knowable thing… so why don’t we know it? So I went and found the screenplay and drop an image out on the site of the ending – right here. And no, it doesn’t say fade to black. Read it, I’d be interested in your take on it Adrian.

      • Franc

        The key event in the script and not in the movie is the sip. It would have given the final mise en abîme. I wonder why it was left out, too dark?

      • McElroy

        Wow, you bought the screenplay of a movie I agree with you we all hate and yet what tiny excerpt is given doesn’t convey much…it presents as untelling and unemotional as this pointless movie.

        Thanks for sharing and trying to find out something more by purchasing the screenplay than what the film merits in its absurdity and pointlessness.

        The only redemption of the time and energy spent watching The Lobster is reading people’s commentary here, at this site, in which they’re often more deep, imaginative and entertaining than the movie will ever be or tried to become.

        If anyone has read this far and not seen The Lobster, do yourself a favor and choose some other movie or activity. We’re a bunch of witnesses here trying to get over scenes lasting over an hour and finding stark meaning in a film which was not in the least bit funny or remotely entertaining.

      • Taylor Holmes

        Oh no no no… I didn’t purchase it! Puh-lease. hahaha. There are many ways in which to get free screenplays online… all legal. The Black List being one of the best ways to find scripts. But there are many others. I think I got this one out at Scriptfest ( or maybe it was actually over on black list, but I can’t find it again. Who knows. But no, there are lots and lots of places to find screenplays for free.

  48. Juan

    it’s option 3. remember the time when david asked blind girl what the thing she was holding was. and she said kiwi. but actually a tennis ball, he could do that to her and pretend to be blind

  49. Devon

    Well, as the author asks for older singles to comment, allow me to comment as a never married, never lived with another person, 40 year old man. One thing about being a single man is that despite Feminism claiming to promote equality, men are still, in fact, valued and defined by women primarily by their position and resources. A man who is has financial and career/education success has “currency” in the dating market. And so, with a terrible economy it is difficult for a man who did not achieve a successful career or formidable education in his youth to attract a mate. This is sad, because with couples who face downsizing or career obsolescence we see one partner help the other out – one works and supports while the other goes back to get their degree… or one works while the other starts a fledgling business etc. For the single man it is very difficult to achieve mid-life career transition, mid-life re-training, or a mid-life business venture without already having the benefit of having a partner who can provide the interim income during the transition phase. “It takes two” has never been as true. And so, we arrive at a 40 in a dichotomy: mid-life singles who are struggling need a partner logistically to achieve the interim phase that will get them more upwardly mobile, but they lack the currency in the present to attract (or deserve) the partner who could help them get ahead and be successful. In conclusion… if you don’t marry young you’re screwed in the relationship department unless you’re educated and successful young.

  50. ToxicBear

    Well i watched the movie today, and went trough all the credits, and i think that the music in the credits and the sounds that are put in kind of explain what he did.
    The music was simmilar to the music they sang in the hotel for single people, and after the music stops during the credits, there are sounds of wind and waves crashing, if that is any indication, it got me thinking that he actually booked out of the hotel and went back to the woods and joined the singles again, maybe even as a leader, because he was on good terms with the former leader(up until she realized that he was in love), or he actually went back to the hotel, which would explain the music, then let him self get turned in to a lobster, or any animal they would subject him to and let him go to the wilds and that is why in the end we hear wind in trees and waves crashing. There is a couple of times we can see land animals close to the coast line, like the pony that the blond girl turned in to…
    So that is my take on what happened.
    To sumerise, I think the endings bleak tone and the credits and sounds during the credits only tell us of the worst most ending of all, where he gave up on love and turned into a animal(silver lining, he became a lobster)… Hope this is intriguing to you as it is to me, movie is good, but the ending really got to me… Sorry for my bad English.

  51. Marina

    I’m a bit baffled by how they actually think this could succeed. Even of they DID have something in common (which I think is one of the things that make this movie so philosophical: the need to have the same identifying qualities) how do they plan to survive or not get caught in the city? They have no valid marriage license and would be captured if they were to attempt to get one. On paper they are still escaped singles. So there never really was a happy ending, I’m afraid. Though so many things of this movie still play with my mind…

  52. McElroy

    Taylor, has this movie garnered the most commentary? Please share the top three movies which have accumulated the most comments at this time. Thank you.

  53. kostas

    Actually i have thought one more interesting ending. He blinds himself goes back and says he didnt do it in order to test blind’s woman love by deciding to be or not with him. If she does stay then you have a romantic end but If she does not then you have an epic and ironic drama which given the nationality of the director (Greek) is something he could be into 😉

    • Coops

      Dear Kostas,
      That is a brilliant answer! Thank you – option five (if I may call it that?) wins.
      Thank you.

  54. Jo Lama

    Bling Girl under option 3 should be blind girl. Which is the best ending as well, because he goes back to the woman’s parents and borrows money on the “business’s behalf” to buy everything they need. Boom

  55. AhmedEldwansy

    Well….I totally have different theory 😀 …Which is …She’s not blind ! At the end when she looked out the window it seemed as if she was really looking into something curious for her ..So my guess is that she fooled him ..

    • Liza l.

      I wanted to say the exact same thing. What intrigued me is the fact that the Blind woman appeared to see when the waiter pored water in her glass, as well as when she gazed off the window. She could definitely see. Therefore, she fooled David. So, the question is what could be the meaning of that? That in a world like theirs you can’t trust anyone? Or that she wanted him blind, vulnerable, to depend on her? She wanted to be in charge?…

  56. Aviel

    None of the above endings can happened.
    If they could have been accepted by society ass a couple it would have happened before. But since they failed to do so in the time they had in the hotel, it is no longer an option.
    As I understand it, you don’t get a second chance!

    So if he blinded himself they were both caught and turnned in to animals.

    So nune of the endings suggested above are realistic. But hey nothing in this movie is…

    As I see it the long term ending is a scene with a lobster and a rabbit.

  57. Adam

    I’ve read enough and it seems like everyone missed it. If you watch her carefully she looks over the waiter and thanks him for pouring her more water, she then looks around a bit and then outside and it ends.

    She wasn’t actually blind.

    I miss the rest I’m not sure of he does it because of the sound of the ocean in the credits and the name of the movie…

    She was definitely LOOKING around though. There’s something to that…

  58. Cynthia

    I would like to add that the film is hard on couples as well as singles. Most posts have adopted the foregone conclusion that the film’s main point is about how we treat single people in our society. I believe that is the hotel half of the film. The second half is an indictment of how we belittle relationships in my opinion. The group leader reminds me, unfortunately, of almost every divorced person I know. I have been happily married for over 20 years (although I don’t rub it in people’s faces or ask single people why they’re not married!) and I know many divorced women who treat me like I’m “quaint” or just living a lie before I finally wake up. It’s very cynical. So your view of the ending depends on your view of relationships and what you feel he has ultimately come to realize about them. “You’re not suited.” What does he believe qualifies this? What does he think about his own divorce? What is the message he always replays on his voicemail about? Why does this rational person who chooses a lobster keep replaying it? Who invented liquid soap and why? jk.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Hey Cynthia… yeah, totally agree that marriage is hard. So kudos to you for the 20 year mile marker. I too just crossed the 20 year mark this last April. And I definitely agree with you that the movie is a rorschach test… you see what you want to see in it. I love movies like that. I posit a few differing opinions on the movie, and then standback and let the commenters tell me all about their lives through the fairly thin membrane of their discussion about this or that movie. That’s why I adore the movie The One I Love… the movie ending literally morphs to fit the viewer.

  59. Ell

    Honestly? Having only just finished watching the movie for the first time, my initial thought was that he didn’t do it, went back to the table BUT told her the truth, that he couldn’t do it, but still valued their love. Which then raises many more questions, how would she have reacted? What happens to their relationship in the eyes of this distopian law? The obvious being that they both get sent back to the hotel, back to square one.

    I really enjoyed the movie, and I really enjoyed the ending – granted we all love closure but it allows us as the viewers to discuss all these possible outcomes.

  60. Json B

    I thought he did it, but couldn’t find her afterwards because hes now blind lmao

  61. Lisa

    It looked like she could see at the end. She looked up at the waiter then out the window, which would be the most ironic ending to me. He gauged his eyes out while she had sight.

  62. dief

    I don’t know if he really did it, but in the whole movie, she ( the women) is telling the story about him/and her together that she often asks him ‘in what kind of animal he changed the women that killed his brother. so i think they still together.

  63. Marianne Smith

    Only a small thought as everyone’s kinda said it all. But he asked her to smile, maybe so he had something to remember after he blinds himself. Whether he went through with it or not, who knows. But I’m a romantic so believe he does it so that they are allowed to be together. Not sure how they’ll cope, both being blind n all. But the cut to black to me signifies his going blind and the ocean sounds of them both sitting there and listening to the waves, as their other senses are heightened, hearing etc.


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