Saturday, April 15, 2017

High-Rise (2015)

Director: Ben Wheatley
Writers: Amy Jump, J.G. Ballard
DOP: Laurie Rose
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss

Life for the residents of a Tower block begins to run out of control. It is set in a luxury tower block during the 1970s and it represents social hierarchy with the higher you live means higher your position is in the social order. The architect of the building, played by Jeremy Irons, resides in the top floor and this social hierarchy was not intended by him as he wanted the tower to be a crucible for change. Tom Hiddleston plays a bachelor doctor who had moved recently into the apartment.

It is an adaptation of a British dystopian novel with the same name from J.G. Ballard. It is very well acted, technically excellent and gorgeous to look at but suffers from the fact that its theme is not quite novel these days. We almost had the same thing, but set in a train instead, in Snowpiercer which worked surprisingly well. Snowpiercer had the veneer of a genre action film. Ben Wheatley's effort is more in-depth with point of views from all sides. But I found it to be a little too straight-forward, quite like Neon Demon which also I saw recently. It might go on to become a cult classic like Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil'.

Ben Wheatley is a very promising director with Kill List being my favourite film of his. A Field in England is also a great and weird watch and I have to revisit it soon. I didn't enjoy Sightseers particularly. High-Rise was his first biggishly produced film even though it is still a small production compared to Hollywood standards. Jeremy Irons is always a great screen presence and come to think of it, the only film I've seen Hiddleston in previously was the excellent 'Only Lovers Left Alive', in which his character was quite the opposite. High-Rise is not recommended for all but certainly for Ben Wheatley fans like me. Others should probably watch Kill List first.

Rating: 3/5