This is definitely a film that wasn’t intended to fit everyone’s tastes, and not something for the masses though maybe a small mass of Indie film lovers, it’s a little bit off-beat. A dystopian future (yes another one) that’s not too far ahead in which being a single person in life is not an option if you intend on living in the regular society and not on the lam. If you are single but do wish to continue living in society then you must visit the hotel, a place where you have 45 days to find your compatible mate before you are turned into an animal, of your choice if that’s any real consolation. You follow David (Colin Farrell) as he begins this process after his wife has left him and he arrives at the hotel, interesting to note which you soon learn in the film, other than his former brother now dog who failed the process, Bob, David is the only other person who will receive an actual name.
Colin Farrell does a fantastic job with this film as do all of the actors involved with such strict restriction on showing any emotion whatsoever, the world of this film is not one in which people generally have any real emotion meaning the actors cannot be anything other than serious and monotone in their performances. Particularly Olivia Colman, the much-loved underdog of British acting recently having her appreciation reach a more appropriate level, does a wonderful and impressive job as the hotel manager being completely unforgiving and rule abiding even when in song. This is really a great ensemble of international actors, including Rachel Weisz, Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, Ashley Jensen, John C Reilly, Aviane Labed and Angeliki Papoulia. Their commitment to keeping their characters so refined and unforgiving is extremely impressive, and slightly haunting.
I was ready to receive this film as weird, which personally was something I look forward to because often weird films can be a pleasant surprise, but I would have been more on the mark to say that it was odd. It really is a very strange film to have so little emotion and feeling that we are so used to, the idea of a society where everything is taken except blindly going with whatever is expected of you is potentially more difficult to accept than one where robots are trying to kill everyone. However overall it is interesting, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is something incredible or life-changing, but interesting feels appropriate and even comical at how twisted it is at points.
This is one I would say is for those who can keep an open mind and not get bored or irritated by the slow pace and monotone voices and behaviours of everyone involved. It’s a strong departure for a lot of the actors, Farrell recently in True Detective, Whishaw and Seydoux currently appearing in Spectre, Colman with Broadchurch, definitely do not expect to see these actors like you’ve seen them before.