here is my spoiler-free review for the unique ‘High Rise’, with links below if you want to find out more.
Having first read J. G. Ballard’s dystopian thriller a short time before seeing the movie, I was hoping the visualisation may fill in whatever gaps in enjoyment or interest that I was severely lacking from the book. Unfortunately, while the movie itself looks and feels interesting, the story, though tinkered with, remains as crude in its metaphors and violence as the original on which it is based. I still wonder if I missed something…
There is meant to be a kind of comedy noir to this movie I believe. The use of comic actors in supporting roles such as Reece Shearsmith (League of Gentlemen / Inside Number 9) and Dan Renton Skinner (aka Angelos Epithemiou from Shooting Stars) would seem to imply this. But I just can’t feel it through the ultimately meaningless and grotesque plot I’m afraid.
Like the book, if we ever really cared about any of the characters who are hypnotically indulging in their assumed roles both as victims and perpetrators, the premise would probably implode. It’s hard to care in such a dank bog of misery, and I don’t think the film really cared if we did anyway.
A bit of cheese may have gone a long way to soften what is, to be fair, a very bleak story. But no, they didn’t go for that angle.
There is no one to cheer for, or barely even commiserate. Pathos doesn’t enter into it.
Bonus Category: Making the best of it +1
I can’t fault the realisation of the world J. G. Ballard conceived into this almost timeless and metamorphosing, oppressive tower block setting. Presumably the film makers and fans of the book would have loved this, as it does seem to me a good reflection of the source material, with fairly decent performances from all involved. It’s just that I don’t particularly ‘get’ the source material…
(Check the Leader Board to see how it compares…)
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