JG Ballard’s cult 1975 novel gets the big-screen treatment from director Ben Wheatley (Kill List/Sightseers).
JG Ballard’s cult 1975 novel gets the big-screen treatment from Ben Wheatley (Kill List/Sightseers) and the result is a brutal, bonkers and blackly comic vision of a dystopian Britain on the brink of social meltdown.
Neurologist Dr Robert Laing (The Night Manager‘s Tom Hiddleston) has just got the keys to his new pad in a luxury 40ft-storey west London tower block. But while he just wants some peace and quiet, the building and its residents have other ideas.
Conceived by its rooftop-dwelling architect (Jeremy Irons) as a ‘crucible for change’, the building starts to have a startling effect on its tenants. When the veneer of civilisation begins to collapse, class war breaks out between the upper and lower floors, and Laing finds himself struggling to keep his sanity and decorum in check as the other residents, including free-spirited secretary Charlotte (Sienna Miller), arrogant TV documentary film-maker Wilder (Luke Evans), and heavily pregnant Helen (Elizabeth Moss), are swept up in the orgy of violence…
Ben Wheatley and his screenwriter wife Amy Jump have done a swell job translating Ballard’s cult novel to the big screen, but the film’s ultimate success rests on the evocative retro 1970s production design, the impressive ensemble cast, and the atmospheric electronic score from Clint Mansell (Black Swan).
With its mind-bending ‘Ballardian’ themes about the impact technology and bleak man-made environment’s have on the human condition, several viewings are necessary to glean Ballard’s vision from the anarchic visuals that erupt onscreen – beginning with the spit roasting of a dog’s leg. Stark, stylishly and boldly bonkers brilliant, prepare for a full on assault of the senses.
High-Rise is out on digital download from 11 July from StudioCanal, followed by its Blu-ray and DVD release on 18 July which includes an audio commentary with director Ben Wheatley, producer Jeremy Thomas, and actor Tom Hiddleston, a featurette on JG Ballard. and interviews with the cast.