Sex, Drugs and Pedigree Chum
Would you say someone has lost all sense of sanity when he eats dog food quite willingly, or is the message simply that we as humans are animals? These are many of the questions raised when watching High Rise.
Based on the novel of the same name High Rise tells the twisted tale of Dr Robert Laing and how he has decided to embark on the lifestyle of the High Rise, a community isolated from the rest of the city. On site the High Rise has gyms, tennis courts, supermarkets, swimming pools amongst other things; there really is no reason to leave.
Acclaimed Director Ben Wheatley took the chair for this unorthodox Sci-Fi drama. This has been tipped to be Wheatley’s big break after previous works have pleased certain groups of people in the film community, he is typically marmite. He has shown his skills in his other movies by showcasing a vast array of characters in unlikely situations, my personal favourite being caravan holiday makers who bludgeon Daily Mail readers to death. Mixing these genres successfully take skills that not a lot of other film makers have the vision to do, an even harder task is managing to put your stamp on your work- Something Wheatley does successfully.
Helping Wheatley kick the doors down at Hollywood is many established actors, the lead in this trippy journey is Tom Hiddleston who plays Dr Laing. Hiddleston does a fantastic job at showing someone who is unfamiliar to the environment that surrounds him, but does his best to adapt to the class based society around him. Sienna Miller plays our blonde haired beauty, another already established actress who keeps getting better and better. In High Rise she’s a social hub or in if you want to get American about it ‘Head Cheerleader’. She takes an interest in the Doctor when she sees him sunbathing naked on his balcony- yes many women’s dream. You don’t get more iconic voices than Jeremy Irons who plays Anthony Royal-the Architect; in this case Scar really got to fulfil his dream and become King at the top of the tower.
The unique thing about this movie is it’s more of a perception than a solid story, it’s a form of art that will be perceived differently by viewers. When you look at the Mona Lisa you may see misery, emotional torture or maybe even boredom. Others however see beauty, self-confidence and maybe even a smile. High Rise displays clear signs of anarchy for me, when shit hits the fan civilisation in the tower lose all sense of order, it feels like a ‘Lord of the Flies’ amongst the concrete jungle. What I seen though was how the building blocks of a Government was being ripped apart by the working class. The people at the bottom of the tower decide to rebel instead of bending the knee to their social partite on the top floor. Breaking off into many other tribes doing as they please, sticking a massive middle finger up to the upper class (I interpreted the Tories btw).
This movie has a very unique sense of style, it feel like a mixture between Hunger games and Clockwork Orange. People may be familiar with the British cop dramas ‘Ashes to Ashes’ and ‘Life on Mars’ it really had that spin on it for me. It’s a movie I’d recommend if you want to sit in a theatre and be completely head fucked for two hours whilst having a giggle at dark humour, or if you want to simply watch a movie showcasing social injustice and anarchy in a block of flats. It has its own unique stamp which Wheatley has yet again done successfully.