Class struggle becomes all too real when a young doctor (Hiddleston) moves into a futuristic apartment block in 1975 suburban London. He quickly discovers drugs, drink and debauchery is rife. Although eventually it dissolves into slaughter, pandemonium and misogyny.
There are some interesting facts about this Film that I've only just learnt. Mark E. Smith (Lead Singer of 80's Punk band The Fall) wrote the screenplay, which he faithfully adapted from J.G. Ballards novel of the same name.
Not having read the book won't detract from this film as the storyline is a little obvious but I had a continual niggling feeling that it reminded me of something else I'd seen.
Being set in 1975 is a wondrous thing as the fashion and "coolness" of life after the swinging 60's is something to behold. There are some very elegant scenes where Hiddleston is surrounded by Air Hostesses and they all pose together. It's very James Bond and also very Kubrickian and it occurred to me that what they were depicting was colonising the sky in their lofty tower.
The big metaphor is that the High-Rise represents the class wars from that time. But the architect (Irons) had the idea that he had built a self-sustaining building with vegetable gardens, sustainable energy, a supermarket and garbage disposal.
What he misses is that he allocates poorer residents to the lower levels while the rich ride it out in style on the upper levels above the pollution.
The lower floor residents start to feel the heat as the building deteriorates along with their life style. Heating and Cooling become non-existent and the garbage chute is soon broken down.
So the building is subjected to anarchy as the lower levels rebel and cut off the upper levels. To me, this was obviously always going to happen. The hint was the upper levels party where they all dressed in Marie Antoinette style gear. Their time was nigh.
The strengths of the film are the score and the cinematography, which are able to guide the viewer away from the convoluted plot. And, along with the performances soon by pass that plot and keep you watching anyway.
Hiddleston, Irons, Miller, Moss and Evans are all brilliant. And, this film is well worth watching because even when it degenerates into murder and mayhem it still keeps your attention.
The film made $346k at the Worldwide Box Office.