“And you, are you settling in?” This is the question architect Anthony Royal poses to Dr. Laing, the newest tenant to his building, as they sit amongst chaos and decadence, as they devour the remnants of a horse.
It is both up to and from this point where we watch Ballard’s depiction of rotting society on screen. Tom Hiddleston is Dr. Laing, the physiologist who has taken residence on the 25th floor of Royal’s first working tower, and is quickly immersed into life within this somewhat closeted society. The levels on which you live are a direct relation to your level of class in the 32 floor building, those on the top of the high rise enjoy the very best of life.
The lower class are on the bottom floor, with the basic amenities, while those on top hold aristocratic parties, and it all comes together in a bewildering meld of cerebral anarchy. As the society within the tower crumbles, so too does Laing’s mind, who becomes one with the building, as do all others within the high rise.
Sienna Miller and Luke Evans also star and are probably the most dangerous of the lot. Miller as the single mother, somewhat looking for love but only finding lust, while Evans is the man on the lower floors, who feels he should be among the elite. Once one of the tv crowd, he and his young but big family are holding the base of the building.
Evans is the catalyst for some of the shit hitting the fan, and when this happens, those above come crashing to meet those below in amazing fashion. Laing is a part of this, but mainly as a spectator as he searches for the anonymity he craved when first entering the building.
Ben Wheatley, the visionary director behind Ballard’s novel, has brought to screen a true depiction of anarchy and mayhem the author envisioned, but injects a bit of fun to it. This fun is never overbearing, mind, but mainly a fashion to allow us to watch the disturbia for the entire run time without being thoroughly subjected to the full affect of it.
Too much mayhem is too much, so Wheatley finds a way to slightly dilute it, so we can truly immerse ourselves. Are you settled in yet?