Film title: High-Rise
Director: Ben Wheatley
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Luke Evans, Sienna Miller, Elisabeth Moss, Keeley Hawes, James Purefoy, Sienna Guillory, Dan Renton Skinner, Enzo Cilenti, Peter Ferdinando, Reece Shearsmith, Augustus Prew, Stacy Martin
Release date: 18 Mar
Josh Slater-Williams | 12 Feb 2016
Ben Wheatley delivers a ferocious adaptation of JG Ballard’s classic dystopian novel High-Rise
It’s the near future, though it (deliberately) seems to be the near future as imagined in the 1970s. Dr Robert Laing (Hiddleston) has set up home in a lavish high-rise designed by a grand architect (Irons). Presiding on the 25th floor, he develops trysts with the higher classes and friendships with those relegated below, including a documentarian (Evans) keen to provoke the dangerous social situation between levels. Violence and disarray are but a ticking time bomb away.
A go-for-broke adaptation of JG Ballard’s beloved novel, Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise is a vigorous and ferocious blast through a dark, dystopic labyrinth that only lets up in a third act that starts to lag – mainly because its pummelling nature can’t help but eventually exhaust. The novel’s slower, icy detachment and alienation are re-imagined by Wheatley and writer Amy Jump as a hedonistic whirlwind; imagine a lone location Mad Max film with less motors and more upper-class twits, as filtered through a cocktail of the creative sensibilities of Kubrick, Fritz Lang, Joseph Losey and Ken Russell.