THE vulgarities of capitalism and social divides are laid bare in British director Ben Wheatley's thought-provoking, High-Rise.

Based on the novel by J.G. Ballard, the film imagines an alternative 1970s in London in which people live in a gigantic self-contained tower block.

Residents live, shop, socialise and spend their leisure time all under one roof.

And with little reason to leave the building outside of working hours, they gradually become uninterested in the outside world.

This magnifies the differences in wealth, status and social class with the elite living on the upper levels and the poor and lower classes cramped at the bottom.

The film takes you into the tower three months before the delicate balance is broken.

The lower floors take the hit as resources begin to dry up and yet supplies continue to go straight to the top for the luxury suites and opulent parties...until the tinderbox atmosphere is ignited.

Wheatley is probably the perfect director for a project like this.

High-Rise has the dark humour of his 2012 film Sightseers and unravelling madness and brutality of 2011's Kill List. His inimitable style is truly present here.

But the film's build up in the first half is better than the chaos of the second where Wheatley seems to be more interested in indulging himself than serving the story.

It is in the first half where the film's metaphor about western society as a whole is stronger too.

Of course, a story like this holds up a cracked mirror up to the world and its dark exploration of relationships greed, social structure and human nature is incredibly potent.