Film Review: High-Rise
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★★☆☆☆ As I’m finishing reading JG Ballard’s High-Rise novel, I wonder how and if the on-screen adaptation will manage to work. Surely, the only way it could would be to either tone down the wildest parts of the novel, and focus on the character’s psychology and the social hierarchy aspect of life on the High-Rise. On the other hand, an approach dimming those aspects and emphasizing the grotesque, most disturbing aspect of Ballard’s classic could also make for an intriguing film. Ben Wheatley chose the latter in his dark-humoured adaptation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do Ballard’s work justice. Wheatley seems to have had fun in directing the film: giant orgies, stimulating slow-motion shots, and Hiddleston and a frightening Luke Evans doing their best dance moves are all present. ABBA’s SOS blasts at two different moments of the film: the first in a classical remix at an uber chic, upper-class party and the second time at a low-class, cocaine-filled one. The cinematography of the film is definitely a highlight. I felt like making about 95% of the shots my Facebook cover photo. The vivid colours, Kubrick-esque symmetrical and organised shots during the first half of the film soon give rise to darker, messier shots, illustrating the downfall of the High-Rise.
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