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[i]Dr. Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager) feels like he’s made it - he’s moved into a luxury high-rise, seeking soulless anonymity. However, the building’s residents have no intention of leaving him alone and it isn’t long before the veneer of civilisation begins to collapse, and darker human urges begin to surface, and Laing’s good manners and sanity disintegrate along with the building. From acclaimed director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Sightseers), and based on the classic novel by J.G. Ballard, comes a unique and dazzling vision of a dystopian Britain on the brink of social meltdown.
[Official Synopsis]


The film is full of warm but natural colours, it's unafraid of dark elements and shadows and leans towards the darker tones of its colour choices well. Deep reds, burnt oranges and grey blues thrive here and the colder stone and wood apartment designs keep the film crisp and level headed enough that when colour begins to play you are made aware something wild is occurring whether that be a dream or a turn in events.

Textures and detail are good, not super crisp but that fits the 70s/80s placement of the film's style perfectly and doesn't out modern the film's setting because of it. When in natural light the film twinkles with life. Edges feel sharper, reflective areas more vibrant and of course the minimal but effectively odd green foliage looks alive and luscious. Black levels always impress and while the presentation here isn't anything show stopping it's a solid one throughout and very much what you'd expect from a modern film.


The audio track is crisp and strong with a score that leads the ways and twinkles along in the background with equally good results. Dialogue is always strong and clear and the balance for everything is bang on, either generating a realistic conversation or a wild moody oddness when the score becomes more playful. The song choices sit well within the track, pushing scenes into more wild territories at times making the whole thing feel a bit trippier, as does the almost constant unpinning moody score that generates a constant sense of unease.


The commentary with Ben Wheatley, Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Thomas is a thoughtful and well paced track. Wheatley is always easy to listen to and full of enthusiasm and film knowledge and he lifts the others to follow along with him.

'Interviews With Cast and Crew' is split down into selection for stars, covering their roles, their take on the story and the film itself. Plus there's crew interviews, so 20 different selections in all. These are chunk answer reels with the questions asked on cards before each segment, so it that disjointed feel to the answers and it's very EPK in tone but there's plenty of good insights in here.

'Bringing Bollard To The Big Screen' (03:47 HD) talks briefly of the original novel, the new elements and the themes.


High Rise, like with many high concept films that look at class and society in a metaphorical way is often cold and wallows in it's darkness at times. That's fine, as these sorts of film sort of demand that so that we look at the situation as a whole but it makes it a watch that's more about watching the situation unfold as opposed to asking you to step into any of the character's shoes. Hiddleston is a good lead but purposely not really a likeable one but the same can be said for all of the performances in the film really, everyone is good, doing what they are great at elsewhere or in Luke Evans's case, being let loose to play a bit but it's a hard film to engage with given how skewed the view of society is within this block of apartments. The A/V is a clean modern presentation, the extras disjointed but enjoyable and I can see this one getting a lot of praise over time as it's one of those films that rightly gets appreciated even if it's hard to love.

* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

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