The first English-language feature by celebrated Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos is a macabre romantic satire of our dating rituals and personal prejudices.The dense, weird film envisions a world where the pressure to serve as a “breeder” offers stark choices.Either live emotionally cold and pretending to love, or defend your independence through loneliness in hiding.
Newly divorced, he is required to find a mate with traits akin to his own during a 45-day stay at a dismal hotel.
Otherwise the sinister culture will transform him into the animal of his choice and set him loose in the wilderness.
With his hefty, softly sculpted physique, flat affect and monotone deadpan dialogue, Farrell may be the most unrecognizable famous actor since Heath Ledger’s caky Joker makeup in “The Dark Knight.”In a phone conversation, Farrell said that what drew him to be an uncommon character in an unusual tale was his admiration for the Oscar-nominated Lanthimos’ work.“I don’t think I’ve ever used the term, but he’s a visionary director,” the star said.
“He has such a very clear and perceptive opinion on life and love.
He tackles some very absurd ideas on family and community and social systems,” without offering specific advice on how to live or couple.
The film’s focus is “the nature of love and what it is or isn’t,” Farrell said.
“Anytime you get a writer and director who is creating something that is unusual but also as valid as his work seems to be, it’s an amazing opportunity to take part of.”He continued: “I read the script and I found it funny-ish.
I also found it horrific at times and ultimately moving in a bizarre way,” a darkly comic allegorical comment about modern life and love in the age of Tinder.
“It feels true and accurate about the way the world is portrayed,” though it paints that portrait of our culture to ridicule its vice and folly.
And occasionally, its moments of shocking violence.“It references patriarchal society, class rule, different ideologies that conflict with each other,” Farrell said.
Under the rules of the film’s oppressive dystopia, authoritarian controls are inescapable.