English films with dystopias are scarier than others. I guess because English films are regularly more depressed than American, with all the sadness, poor families, children who are dying and depressing music and atmosphere. Well, High-Rise falls into this category. Director Ben Wheatley, the director, known for movie titles such as Kill List and Sightseers, made his most complex film to date, but also the most confusing, because in many cases you are not sure you know what is happening in front of you. The film follows a young doctor, played by Tom Hiddleston, who is moving into a newly built skyscraper, which is a little town for itself, with a kindergarten, a supermarket, a swimming pool, gym and, most importantly, residents are divided into classes. For instance, the poorest are at the bottom while the rich people are upstairs.
The middle class, where our doctor is centered, is in the middle of the building, and there is a silent hatred of the penthouse, where he lives and towards the architect of the whole project (Jeremy Irons). A similar metaphor for dummies has had movie Snowpiercer, but this is developed in a much better way. The film is based on a book of J.G. Ballard from the 70s, so the action is located in those years, although situation resembles some futuristic seventies, like in famous movie A Clockwork Orange, by Stanley Kubrick. In general, the whole film relies heavily on the atmosphere of some Kubrick’s movies. After one party of the middle class, the richer team wants to respond with the more crazy party and little by little, one crazy bizarre assembly of various events, and we got a war of classes, where everything seems like an actual war. Since the film has drawn you into the story’s nice setting, and the atmosphere of good actors and seductive look, you have to close your eyes on a few things. The most annoying situations are connected with violence, because the struggle between the classes and changing wives for food, could easily be avoided, by people simply leaving the building, but then we wouldn’t have complications in the plot. But well, it could be just me being a smartass.
I watched Hiddleston for the first time, not as a superhero or a villain with tedious costume, and I was pleasantly surprised especially with his method approach to acting. Among others, there are Luke Evans, who all the time looks like a drunken Richard Burton in the movies of the 60’s, and Elizabeth Moss, while Sienna Miller once again was that pretty girl that can be easily replaced with some pretty flower. All in all, what would Americans say – a beautiful mess of the film.
It’s an assembled cast, and it gives a new dimension to the movie. The main actor is better than the others, and that’s normal. As I said, it has that atmosphere of Kubrick’s movies, so if you are his fan, you should watch this movie. And if you are not Kubrick’s fan, well then don’t ever watch any movie. He is the legend and probably the best director ever.