2 May 2016 | sastrash
Failed attempt at art
I haven't read the book but judging it on its own merit I felt like this film tried to be something between The American Psycho and The Exterminating Angel. And it failed. It's lacking the subtlety of Bunuel's masterpiece as well as the wit of the latter, more modern film.
The Non-Subtlety: When Laing goes to a party above his class he is not just under-dressed, he is RIDICULOUSLY under-dressed. When he tries to help a the architect's wife with a malfunctioning control box, he doesn't just fail, he fails SPECTACULARLY. Scene after scene you get everything spelled out as clearly and unambiguously as possible and it gets tiresome very quickly. Was this not supposed to be an "art" kind of film? Was the director expecting only morons to come and see it?
The Lack of Wit: Even over-the-top films can still be enjoyable if they are handled right. The American Psycho is like that - the axe murder to the tune of Hip to be Square is fresh and whimsical, the business card scene was a FUN way to ridicule the main character's obsession. High-Rise on the other hand is just dull. I can't remember any one scene that I would want to rewatch just for the sake of it. Every one of them is just mechanistically chugging along with the plot.
On the bright side there are some interesting sets and costumes and certainly the actors are doing their best with what they are given so it's not an all-in-all terrible movie. It's just that what it is trying to do was done way better before - in the two films I mentioned above.