High-Rise: Film Review

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I rarely come out of a movie with such an overwhelming feeling of disappointment. With most films, if I don’t love them, I just have feelings of “it was okay” or “didn’t really enjoy it” rather than genuine dislike – but High-Rise has managed it. I did not like it one bit and I find that odd considering most people I know raved about, Tom Hiddleston is a fave and I had wanted to see this since the London Film Festival in October.

Hiddleston plays Dr. Robert Laing, who moves into an isolated high rise complex which is self-sufficient and cut off from society.  It was build by the architect Anthony Royal (Jeremy Irons) who lives on the top floor, while the lower classes live towards the bottom, including Richard and Helen Wilder (Luke Evans and Elisabeth Moss). The lower floors are blighted by electricity problems and they fight the injustice. The whole tower soon descends into violence and carnage as the classes fight each other.

This sounds awesome, right? It has an American Psycho meets Lord of the Flies premise and initial vibe, which I was keen to see, but then that vision just gets lost in the mess. It is just random scene after random scene of brutality, sex or something totally bizarre and nonsensical. In the beginning, I felt positive. I liked seeing the tower’s facilities and meeting the characters because it was such an odd living environment.  I have also loved everything Hiddleston has done so far, Sienna Miller was great as his love interest and I do have a soft spot for Moss. I liked what the film was trying to say about the class system in British society but it never really got its point across properly.

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The problem was that it does not have a flowing narrative – once everything goes to shit it just takes a scattergun approach of throwing all these weird/gross images at you and hoping something works. I thought once chaos ensued and people starting killing each other off I would begin root for somebody but I literally did not care who died. Nobody is likeable, and I can usually deal with that in some movies but the fact I hated the way the story was being told meant that I was not invested at all. I have never wanted a film to end so badly and this went on forever.

High Rise is a total shame because Hiddleston is fantastic (and looks AMAZING) and I wanted to like his work, especially as I had only read rave reviews for this online. The premise sounded immense and the cast was impressive but I just hated it. It is too weird, too horrible, boring, and I have never been so tempted to leave a screening early.

In cinemas Friday 18th March 

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