Premiere 9.00-11.20pm Film4
Ben Wheatley’s most ambitious film to date is faithfully adapted by his editor wife, Amy Jump, from the dystopian 1975 novel by JG Ballard. It takes place in a 40-storey riverside tower block, a microcosm of class-layered British society that quickly descends into savagery and anarchy. Too quickly, I would argue. We have barely been introduced to Tom Hiddleston’s suave physiologist, Sienna Miller’s bored single mother, Luke Evans’s documentary-maker and Jeremy Irons’s imperious architect before the lifts break down, the rubbish backs up and the pool becomes a health hazard, at which point moneyed hedonism meets steerage resentment head-on. The bizarre tone of swinging glamour and deep, psychotic unease is set by Clint Mansell’s serpentine, string-driven score. Unlike the music, the film’s not subtle, but the cast is game and a tacked-on reference to Margaret Thatcher gives it potency beyond period romp.
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