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Youth Review: High Rise

19 April 2016
High-Rise is the new film from British visionary and all round good guy Ben Wheatley. Written by his partner and long-time co-writer Amy Jump, this has all the makings of a potential cult classic. 

High-Rise is based on the JG Ballard novel of the same name. Set in a 1970’s future dystopia, the film tracks the deterioration of a tower block and its residents into anarchy. 

Tom Hiddleston stars as Dr Robert Lang, a strangely icy figure who moves into the building at the start of the film. The group found Hiddleston’s portrayal of Lang to be highly effective and in general felt that the cast were all on good form. 

But did they actually like it? Well, yes…I think. The group went into this film with different levels of awareness about it. One group member had not seen a single trailer for it, whilst another had already seen it a week earlier. Yet despite this, nobody was quite sure what to make of it. Is it a comedy? Is it an absurdist farce? Is it a drama? No one could really say and perhaps this is the film’s strength. 

Like many of Wheatley’s films High-Rise is quite hard to describe and quite hard to define. Many of the group felt that the comedy jarred with the seriousness of the subject matter, whilst others felt that it was a welcome addition. The was in agreement that the film looked fantastic, especially in its opening half before it moves to a more shaky camera style.

So overall, High-Rise is an interesting watch that has to be seen to be understood. Relying more on ideas and images than on story or character development, High-Rise will either leave you scratching your head in confusion or appreciation. Worth checking out.

Youth Review Score – 3.5 / 5 

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