Tom Hiddleston could do a dramatic reading of the alphabet and totally leave me breathless — the dude is 50 shades of dapper. For fans of the actor, the year has already offered a bounty of Hiddleston flicks and plenty of opportunities to swoon, including his musical turn as Hank Williams in I Saw The Light. Hiddleston's newest film, High-Rise, is much more mysterious than his slew of biopics, romance dramas and Marvel movies, and its surreal trailers are both enthralling and totally confusing all at once. While the film already made its way to European theaters earlier in the spring, it will be released in the U.S. on May 13. This means that there's still time to piece together what High-Rise is about before its big debut.
The movie is based on the 1975 novel by J.G. Ballard, a book that chronicles the inhabitants of a high-rise apartment who move throughout shared spaces and eventually cut themselves off from the world within the modern conveniences of their building. The high-rise has everything from a gym to a grocery store, but the gleaming facade begins to crack as the apartment's society grows hostile and violent. You can also assume that the film does deviate too heavily from the original novel, even though High-Rise is about several of Ballard's original themes. And, if you're not already intrigued, Hiddleston did a reading of High-Rise in 2015 that'll certainly make your ears perk up.
The trailers for the film show that the high-rise at the center of the movie was initially constructed by an acclaimed architect as a modern utopia. There are plenty of luxury facilities, sharp angles, and a big dash of brutalist design, a style of architecture embraced in the '60s and '70s that emphasizes massive forms and raw materials — i.e. this high-rise is a monster made by a tortured genius. The setting for the film should already make you feel a little uneasy, but if not, the plotline will certainly do the trick.
Hiddleston plays the main character, Dr. Robert Laing, an ambitious practitioner eager to heal from the death of his sister with his new life in the high-rise. He takes a large unit on the 25th floor, placing him right around the middle of the building's 40 stories. The class struggles of the culture become quickly apparent: the poor live towards the bottom of the high-rise while the wealthy live towards the top, inciting tension despite the promised serenity of the tower.
As hostility begins to escalate throughout the high-rise, lapses in power and the building's infrastructure start to take a toll on the morale of the residents. Folks still find time to party, but it becomes clear that it is excessive and almost exclusively taking place among the higher-classes. Eventually, everyone breaks off into warring groups, and all hell breaks loose in the high-rise. So, yeah, Hiddleston gets smiley and naked for a minute, but this ain't a rom-com. Without giving away any major spoilers, I can say that stuff gets disturbing. Basically, this movie is going to be one heck of a thrill ride, and I am genuinely excited to see how U.S. audiences respond.
Images: Studiocanal; Giphy (2)