Claire Denis’ “High Life” is a contemplative and cerebral space odyssey that challenges traditional notions of the genre. At its core, the film is a meditation on the human experience, exploring themes of isolation, sacrifice, and the nature of humanity. Set aboard a spaceship traveling towards a black hole, “High Life” is a haunting and thought-provoking film that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
The film stars Robert Pattinson as Monte, a death-row inmate who volunteers to be part of a space mission in exchange for a chance at freedom. As the crew travels further away from Earth, they encounter a series of increasingly surreal and dangerous situations, leading to a profound exploration of what it means to be human.
At its heart, “High Life” is a deeply philosophical film, exploring the complexities of the human experience through a unique lens. Through stunning visuals and a haunting score, Denis creates a world that is both beautiful and terrifying, forcing the audience to confront their own mortality and the fragility of the human condition.
One of the most significant aspects of “High Life” is the way in which it subverts traditional space movie tropes. Rather than focusing on the technical aspects of space travel, the film is more interested in exploring the inner lives of its characters. This is exemplified by the use of flashbacks to show the backstory of each of the crew members, providing insight into their motivations and desires.
Another important element of “High Life” is its use of sound design. The film is largely devoid of a traditional score, instead relying on the hum of the spaceship’s engines and the sounds of the crew’s daily lives to create a sense of atmosphere. This immersive approach draws the audience deeper into the world of the film and heightens the tension in key moments.
Denis’ direction is also noteworthy, as she creates a world that is simultaneously beautiful and eerie. The film’s muted color palette and stark, minimalist design contribute to a sense of loneliness and isolation, mirroring the emotional states of the characters.
Overall, “High Life” is a film that is sure to divide audiences, but it is an important addition to the science fiction canon. By exploring complex themes and subverting traditional genre tropes, Denis has created a unique and thought-provoking work of art that demands to be seen.
So, if you’re looking for a cerebral and meditative science fiction film that will challenge your preconceptions, look no further than “High Life”. This is a film that rewards careful attention and contemplation, and it is one that will stay with you long after you finish watching it.