After our last holiday of 2016, Emma Allsopp caught up with her bae 4 lyf Tom Hiddleston’s latest: High-Rise. Was it a towering disappointment, or the height of cinema?
The Easter break heralded a time I had literally been anticipating for years, the release of Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of J. G. Ballard’s classic novel, High-Rise. On the way to the cinema I could hardly contain my excitement, I was finally going to see it! And when I left the cinema I was still buzzing, it hadn’t let me down, it hadn’t just met my expectations, it had surpassed them.
“Hiddleston gives a terrifyingly detached performance perfect for the film, while Luke Evans is just plain crazy as another lead antihero (they’re all antiheroes), Richard Wilder”
From the very first time I heard about the concept of a bunch of rich professionals moving into a high rise, and then losing hold of any social and moral rules I was hoping this would become one of my new favourites, and it did. With one of British actors working at the moment, Tom Hiddleston, taking the lead role as antihero Robert Laing this film is a hit from the opening scene. Hiddleston gives a terrifyingly detached performance perfect for the film, while Luke Evans is just plain crazy as another lead antihero (they’re all antiheroes), Richard Wilder.
Not only are performances amazing across the board, but Wheatley’s direction is superb. I am currently reading Ballard’s novel, but it is clear that Wheatley, and screenwriter Amy Jump, have put their own interpretation onto this story. This is not a straight retelling with characters being added and taken away in equal measure. The soundtrack by Clint Mansell is another triumph for this film, it is simultaneously innocent and chilling which reflects the downward spiral of the high rise’s residents.
If you haven’t already seen this film I highly recommend it. It’s sexy, scary, violent and just plain wrong, but it’s also a genius study of humanity and social rules, particularly what happens when they’re stripped away. This is definitely a new favourite of mine.