High Life (2018) – No Alarms, No Surprises

Claire Denis‘ “High Life” is like an experimental movie from the 70s. It’s a lot more an experimental science fiction film but doesn’t really exploit the genre. There is no great visual effect, explosion, CGI, battleship, mothership, lightsaber, exaggerated visual of space, and so on. But, this is more like “Ex Machina“, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, or “Blade Runner“. In addition, the scenes don’t show lengthy dialogues. It’s just about visual, lack of dialogue, without narrative, and only relies on parallel plots. In conclusion, each scene illustrates how the science fiction element as its metaphor and turns it into a terrifying situation.

This is a great movie with such a great performance by Robert Pattinson. He becomes a main focused here, more like “Moon” where everything, in his environment, was part of his life. It’s a story about Pattinson as Monte; being part of Guneina Pig in an experiment on a suicide mission. He lives alone in space. In the dark, full of mess, and intense claustrophobic, no one can help him this time together with his daughter.

This movie is like a cult-experimental movie, don’t have anything with its story and character. The world and space they live then and now was more ambiguity than a clear explanation. We see the main character seeking his power in Denis’ direction; a vaguely image with such a distraction in its tone. The baby only saw a television but that was the only thing she had grown up. It’s like a slice of life horror and disturbing movie. We don’t really see these records. On the other hand, this is just a simple action like the relationship between the father and his baby. But, here’s the interesting part. In a nutshell, it’s just Pattinson’s fixing a spacecraft while he was talking to Willow via a link.

There is no antagonist, opponent, or reciprocal character. Well, I also can’t say Lars Eidinger’s Chandra or Juliette Binoche’s Dibs is the villain. While this is a one-man show, there are many stars in this film. They are Mia Goth, Jessie Ross, André Benjamin, and others. The far more you watch this movie, the far more this movie leaves you. The main plot of this film, and also to answer the questions, was the ship’s greenhouse. You could just say, it’s another symbolistic or authentic in this movie. They are all plain, just plan and organic objects. Seems like they just appear on the screen too much.

This movie is just weird in so many ways. There is this insane obsession with sex and the weird relationship between characters. Sperm as the most important plot, setting, character, and so many odd things. By gathering into one narrative in full through its parallel, this movie follows a traditional story. Of course, with its European widescreen aspect ratio. You don’t have any information, the same as the main character who lacks any information. You really shouldn’t be supposed to watch this in a clear mind or just listen. I take this movie as an alternative disturbing moment where I can’t watch this over and over again. Even the ending put many questions throughout the story.

The sound when character walking, the sound when a character is breathing, the curses word, as if there is an exposition at this point. The question is, what is this all about? What does this mean? Not really want to convey many things in this film. After all, this film was enough to make me feel I just sat in here while enjoying this film in a small room. It’s more like a challenge, a challenge where you wait for the film to finish soon. Moreover, this film is even more memorable if you listen to all Radiohead’s song. The psychedelic vibe was there.

So, is this a good movie? Yes. Is this a boring movie? Yes. Is this movie worth your times? It could be yes or no. The movie failed to satisfy its audience, not really being confused if this is a confusing movie. There are so many explicit contents, explicitly you don’t want to see it, and a great R-rated movie. “High Life” is an experimental retro movie, from its aesthetic direction and magnificent performance. Suggestion to you, don’t think too much about anything else. Watch this movie without thinking of anything. Just feel this movie like acid on a space trip. It could be, it’s more like a Semen-stellar.

4 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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