A24 and long term in the business director Claire Denis, presents an epic noir that features more semen than Ted 2 had to offer, more predatory risks than a Logan Paul video, and the most sex-obsessed narrative in all of science-fiction history—barely beating out the cult film Basic Instinct, and Aldous Huxley’s classic novel Brave New World, by a hair.
So, on a scale of 1 to 10, how original is High Life?
Well, it’s an easy 10, actually. So, what exactly does this mean?
There’s going to be a boatload of furious, negative IMDb reviews?
Well besides that, this means I will, regardless of liking or disliking the film, respect it. I admire a filmmaker’s drive to express eccentrics through a categorial medium that has not yet been explored. I mean, at least they tried to divert from the common formalities that the dull, mercenary human tendencies often propel us to commence.
Luckily, I liked High Life. In fact, I’m pretty sure I loved it. High Life is a daunting tale told in an unconventional, down-to-earth approach, withheld in a misty, outer-space backdrop that is likely to spellbind its viewers into a trance of wonderment. The premise is so colorfully demonic yet, freeheartedly realistic and once the film meets ends, it’ll flare up a heart-rending savor inside of its audiences’ muzzles. The realization that dawns upon you is that of a truth and nothing but a truth. This truth, believe it or not, is quite parallel to that of our own universe. It’s like, deep man.
I promise you though, High Life is this close to being a masterpiece, but I do have a few gripes with it. You’d think in a film that’s so adroit at “showing” its story rather than “telling” it, it wouldn’t try to go for the whole “telling” route. Well, it unfortunately does in a couple of scenes. I wish the film wasn’t so keen on narration, because in a movie that’s already delivering you just enough to grasp the key story-marks it seems like the movie is almost dumbing everything down for the audience as if they desire this need to have every little plot-point explained in grave detail. Also, some of Denis’ writing when it comes to dialogue, can come off a tad rum, and I’m not sure if I more so appreciated it or I was merely bugged by it. There’s additionally, one substandard child performance in this movie that kind of took me out of the film during probably the most essential moment of it. That’s about all I have in terms of flaws. Everything else in this though is pretty much A+ quality filmmaking.
I can’t name all the scenes that transfixed me into this stellar of a flick, but I can name some of the most magnetic ones. There’s the raddest space traveling sequence since 2001: A Space Odyssey’s “Stargate” excerpt (don’t expect something as long as it for sure though, or anything as trippy as it is, because it’s fairly realistic which is the scary part about it). There’s the most hypnotic masturbation scene of all-time—which sounds weirder now that I’m saying it, but I swear I was enticed by it for the artistry not the sexual, mindless context of its scenario. There are just a plethora of other visually awing segments that are guaranteed to disturb and seduce its viewers all in unison.
High Life is an optical knockout that’s enhanced by a coded authentic story which is solely born to bemuse the viewer’s mentalities for light years to come, not necessarily because of its devoted tale, but because of the memo it urges its captors to comprehend. Can’t wait to check out more of Claire Denis’ films. I have high hopes.
Mia Goth chooses all the best projects, huh?
“High Life” is now playing in select theaters.