High-Rise tells the story of life for the residents of a tower block that begins to spiral out of control.
Going into a screening of this film at the London Film Festival, I knew nothing about it. There was no trailer to find and minimal pictures to find. I didn’t even know that it was an adaptation of a novel of the same name by J.G. Ballard. And it was a very strange, very left field film at that. I was constantly checking my phone for the time, which is always a bad sign, and noticed members of the audience slowly disappearing as the lengthy two-hour film pulled on further into the night. I stayed until the end of the film to gain some insight into it from a Q&A that occurred with director Ben Wheatley and actors Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller, and Sienna Guillory. It was interesting to see that they found humour in the creation of the film but it still failed to provide much reasoning to the strangeness and complexities of the film.
The film’s metaphor, whatever it may be, and what it was trying to say was confusing and wasn’t exactly clear, but that could have been the point of the film. It’s satirical view of conformity and social class with a snide undercurrent that gives a critique on the hipster culture. The film started off with a clearer mind but soon descended into a violent, uncontrollable, and and animalistic mess that seems a little unmotivated in which a possible cause could be drawn from the power simply cutting out. The decent into chaos seems like it’s there “just because” but is that truly enough for everything to be turned on its head? Why don’t the residents of this “high-rise” not simply leave instead of resorting into a total mess?
The pace is very slow, which understandably left the audience fidgety and causing some to leave the screening for good.
It was a strange yet engaging film but might be something that is worth waiting to come out on DVD.