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High-Rise (2015)

Director:
Ben Wheatley
COUNTRY
United Kingdom
GENRE
Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
High-Rise
RUNNING TIME
119 minutes
Producer:
Jeremy Thomas
Screenwriter (based on the novel by J.G. Ballard):
Amy Jump


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Dr. Robert Laing Tom Hiddleston
Anthony Royal Jeremy Irons
Charlotte Melville Sienna Miller
Richard Wilder Luke Evans
Helen Wilder Elisabeth Moss
John Pangbourne James Purefoy
Ann Royal Keeley Hawes
Munrow Augustus Prew
Paul Cosgrove Peter Ferdinando
Nathan Steele Reece Shearsmith
Jane Sheridan Sienna Guillory

 

Review

Novelist J.G. Ballard's worlds were often visceral and dystopic in a heavily symbolic, sometimes absurd manner (such as in Crash). In order to adapt these worlds successfully to the screen, one will have to tread carefully with a clear direction and sense of purpose in mind. If not, any film will easily slip into a pulp of abrasive scenes and faltering logic especially from a human and interpersonal point of view. This is exactly the trap director Ben Wheatley falls into with High-Rise, adapted from Ballard's 1975 novel of the same name. After a splendid intro, in which the wonderful set design takes us effectively back to the cars, hairstyles, clothes and interior designs of the 1970s, Wheatley loses command over the interplay between story and message. Watching the chaotic mess of scenes which ensue, where the characters act in a zombie-like manner, the film's implicit social criticism an ostensible attack on consumerism and modern living combined with a manifesto for communism (not socialism, cause that would be too light) doesn't reveal itself in a subtle manner which would have made you feel clever about discovering it; it gnaws on you like a rabid dog until you'd hate all dogs forever. High-Rise ultimately shows no regard for its characters or viewers. And the comedy, which is the last bit of virtue the film could have clinged on to, is humourless and acerbic.

Copyright 06.01.2018 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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