High-Rise (2016) Movie Review


Crown Jules Concludes: 

A thought-provoking delve into the group-psyche of a closed community.

Based on  the novel by J.G. Ballard (which I will now have to go and read!) we follow Dr Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston) as he moves into the prestigious titular high-rise block, and encounters the characters that already dwell within.  Set in a version of the 1970s, in-keeping with the setting of the original book, and exaggerating the class differential of the various floors.  The sensational extravagance and debauchery of the higher floors, counter the poverty and desperation at the lower end of the scale.  Laing appears to be placed somewhere in the middle.

Once you’ve claimed your small piece of “utopia” how far will you go to defend that space?  Even after the dream has been turned on its’ head?  Should you feel guilty for enjoying the depravity, or feel a slight sense of satisfaction when it all goes to hell?  Do these characters deserve your sympathy?  As the situation gets more and more extreme within the building, another question remains: why doesn’t anybody move out!?  We see Laing go to work, outside of the high-rise, and yet each evening he comes home to a world descending into madness, and beyond…

If you’re looking for a plot-driven movie, this probably isn’t for you!  There’s the exploration of multiple facets of each of the characters’ motivations and desires, and how they interact within the constraints of the high-rise.  But you’ll find that you are left with more questions than answers.  And that’s the point.

I was most excited for a tiny bit of twitter-fame; that part of one of my tweets was included on the following tweet/poster graphic from the High Rise Movie official twitter account:

My full tweet was as follows:

So, what did you think?  I think I’m going to need to watch this movie several times, before I’ve actually seen all that was presented on screen.

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