I liked Snowpiercer so when I heard that High-Rise was like it only in a building my interest was piqued. It was just added to Netflix so it was finally time to give it a watch. The movie isn’t as action packed as Snowpiercer but it definitely features some similarities to the commentary on social classes. I didn’t really get into the film, but in its defense I had a long day at work and it continued while I was watching the movie. High-Rise gets the Not a Total Waste of Time rating.
Laing (Tom Hiddleston) has recently moved into a new apartment in a high rise. After a few days he starts to learn about the residents and the way of life. Each floor of the high rise essentially represents one’s social status and the higher up you go the wealthier you are. Greed starts to turn the floors on each other and Laing isn’t quite sure where he falls in.
Hiddleston is good in this film. He plays a character that is relatively emotionless through most of the film. He is charismatic yet distant enough that I never quite trusted his character. Jeremy Irons plays Royal, the architect of the building, who befriends Laing. Well, I’m not sure if befriend is actually what happens. Luke Evans plays an aptly named Wilder as he is a bit of a wildcard and seems to know how to stir up trouble. The performances are fine, but he story didn’t really resonate for me.
A book adaptation
The movie is based on a book written by J.G. Ballard and adapted by Amy Jump. Ben Wheatley directs and the film looks amazing. The building, the cinematography, and the production values are all great. The story, however, didn’t really work for me. I was confused for a lot of it and when they go all Snowpiercer it seemed so random. A lot of the film felt random and a bit over the top at times. The rich people go all Roman and start having hedonistic parties filled with orgies. It makes sense in the context of the story but was a bit unnecessary to show.
It’s a film that I can see a lot of qualities that people could like. There is also a lot that people could dislike and maybe even be appalled by. The film speaks in metaphor and I picked up a lot of it after watching it. I’m not sure if I’d have a different opinion of this film if I’d given all of my attention. However, I didn’t and currently I wouldn’t watch it again.