Taglines: Welcome to the high life…
The film opens with Dr. Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston) living in a ravaged apartment tower. He captures a white Alsatian dog and spit roasts it over a makeshift fire while sitting on his apartment balcony. The film proceeds to recount the events of the previous three months.
After the death of his sister, Laing moves into a 25th floor apartment within a new high-rise tower, a luxurious apartment complex built by esteemed architect Anthony Royal (Jeremy Irons). The high-rise provides its tenants all of the conveniences and commodities that modern life has to offer: swimming pools, schools, a supermarket, a restaurant, and high-speed elevators.
By the same token, there is little reason to leave the building, and its occupants (generally upper- and middle-class professionals, business people, and media figures) become increasingly isolated from the outside world, retreating instead into the tower’s secure environments and parties. Before long, underlying antagonisms begin to emerge between the tenants, as does a loose system of social stratification amongst the different sections of the building: the posh upper-class who live on the topmost floors, the professionals who live on the middle floors, and the rabble-rousing poorer tenants who live on the lower floors.
After an encounter with Royal’s aide, Charlotte Melville (Sienna Miller), Laing attends a party held in Charlotte’s apartment directly above his. The next morning, Laing is invited to meet Royal, who invites him to attend a party held by his wife, Ann (Keeley Hawes). Ann jokes about Laing’s attire, and he is thrown out of the party. On the way back a power failure causes Laing to become stuck in the elevator. Other technical faults begin to emerge throughout the high rise, and garbage chutes are clogged up. After a game of squash with Royal, the architect explains that these are merely teething problems.
Later, at work, Laing is given a brain scan of a trainee, Munrow (Augustus Prew), who fainted during an autopsy on a schizophrenic’s head. Munrow is also a resident of the high-rise, and laughed at Ann’s joke. Wanting revenge, Laing lies to Munrow, telling him that they “found something” in his brain.
High-Rise is a British thriller directed by Ben Wheatley, starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, and Elisabeth Moss. The screenplay by Amy Jump is based on the 1975 novel of the same name by J.G. Ballard. It was produced by Jeremy Thomas through his production company Recorded Picture Company.
In September 2015, the film received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and its European premiere at the 63rd San Sebastián Film Festival. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 18 March 2016 by StudioCanal.
Oirected by: Ben Wheatley
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, James Purefoy, Keeley Hawes, Sienna Guillory
Screenplay by: Amy Jump
Cinematography by: Laurie Rose
Film Editing by: Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley
Costume Design by: Odile Dicks-Mireaux
Set Decoration by: Paki Smith
Art Direction by: Nigel Pollock, Frank Walsh
Music by: Clint Mansell
MPAA Rating: R for violence, disturbing images, strong sexual content / graphic nudity, language and some drug use.
Release Date: May 13, 2016