High Life Reviews
7 is a spaceship with interstellar drive that goes to a black hole. High Life is a movie that takes place inside a box and goes nowhere, except for some stuff that happens on the way. It plays like an episode of Dust, expanded to fill up two hours without the substance to do so. Dust to dust with catecholamines in between.
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Following Monte, as he floats around in a shuttle drifting through space, he and his infant daughter try to survive, alone. With flashbacks to previous events and character interactions that explain their current situation, this is a film that begins very ambiguous, but ultimately becomes bogged down in exposition and overly complex narrative choices, that simply had me frustrated with the movie overall. The premise of the film itself and the visual style that they were able to pull off on a budget of just over 10 million dollars.
I absolutely loved everything about this movie that revolved around Monte (who was played very well by Robert Pattinson) and his daughter. Their growth throughout the film and development within their characters easily felt like the most impressive aspect. As mentioned above, the flashbacks and overly explanatory sequences took me out of the film. Not to ruin what the flashbacks consist of, but it was far less interesting than the present day timeline and they balanced the present day with the past quite evenly in terms of the film's run time, which was disappointing to me.
Although noticeably low-budget, this is a very nicely shot film with some very unique sci-fi visuals. I wasn't completely sucked in, because some of the sets and ways certain scenes played out felt slightly cheap in my opinion. I'm not usually someone who complains about this, because filmmaking is insanely hard to get right, especially on a low-budget, but something about the atmosphere of this movie felt slightly off to me.
In the end, High Life is the pure example of a movie that's not made for everyone. Even if I loved this movie, I still wouldn't recommend it, simply because there are many things presented throughout this movie that will turn off many viewers. I admired my experience with this movie as a whole and would've given the filmmakers a round of applause if they were at the screening, but the movie just didn't click with me in the ways I had hoped for. A very solidly constructed movie that just didn't quite work for me.
Despite the film's limited dialogue, many of the lines feel bizarrely stilted, as if there was a problem in the French-to-English translation regarding the emotional meaning of what Denis was hoping to convey.
As a result, Denis has ultimately made a film that is just interesting enough to keep the audience's attention the entire time, but lackluster enough for them to never really care. Worse, the last twenty minutes are so packed with logical flaws that 'High Life' crashes into its final destination rather than ending on anything that resembles a high note, sadly wasting another superb performance by Robert Pattinson whose time and effort could have been better spent on something else.
Violent for no rhyme or reason.
Very little point to it.
I left leaving feeling like I wasted 2 hours.
I like Solaris and 2001 a space Odyssey, so I'm ok with slow space dramas. That's not the problem here. The problem is that there is little to grasp onto in terms of content or meaning.
I would give zero stars if I could.
Please don't watch this drivel