High-Rise is quite the experience: weird, twisted, debauched – and sometimes downright confusing in its meanderings between multiple characters and bizarre scenarios. The claustrophobic atmosphere of the building encourages its inhabitants to close in on one another, causing socially acceptable behaviours to be rapidly abandoned.
There’s dark humour to be enjoyed, both in a surrealist sense and through sharp pastiche, to which the heavyweight cast (and especially the ever-watchable Hiddleston) wholly commit.
High-Rise is, however, rather self-indulgent in its lashings of subtext, which are constantly put ahead of developing well-rounded characters and a coherent plot structure to which the audience can cling.
Despite the second act descending messily into chaos, High-Rise is worth viewing for the cast and the film’s offbeat caustic humour and all-round peculiarity – experimental is the word.
CAST: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, James Purefoy, Keeley Hawes
DIRECTOR: Ben Wheatley
WRITERS: J.G. Ballard (novel), Amy Jump (screenplay)
SYNOPSIS: Dr. Robert Laing (Hiddleston) moves into an ultra-modern and luxurious high-rise complex, where all of his and every other inhabitant’s needs are seemingly catered for, only for this isolated community to begin to collapse, revert to the most base of human instincts – and turn on one another at an alarming rate.