Friday, August 26, 2016

Now on Amazon Prime: Equals (2016)

Equals movie poster
Equals (2016) - Directed by Drake Doremus; Written by Doremus and Nathan Parker; Starring Kristen Stewart, Nicholas Hoult, Guy Pearce, Jackie Weaver, Bel Powley.

By Kenny Howell

Two people in an emotionless future break their spell and fall in love in this sci-fi drama from Drake Doremus (Like Crazy).

Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road) plays Silas, a man living in sterile future where people get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep and start all over, all without showing any emotion throughout the day. Those pesky feelings have been eradicated, except for a few who "suffer" from a disease called S.O.S. (clever), which basically means the gene that controls feelings is awakened. It shuns them from the rest of society who see feelings as a disease. They are eventually given a "painless death" if they can't recover.

One day, one of the people who has S.O.S. takes their life by leaping off the top of the building where Silas works. He notices that one of his co-workers Nia, played by Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria), is visibly upset by this, though she tries to hold it in so as not to alert the others.

Silas' feelings start to overreact as well, and he approaches Nia. The two, for the first time in their lives, start to feel something for each other and fall in love, despite the pressure of society to conform.

The look and the leads of Equals is the key to win it works. Hoult and Stewart carry the film, although I wasn't completely pulled in by their love story. I thought it was interesting, but I wasn't overly emotionally invested in them, which is surprising because Doremus did it so well in Like Crazy. Still, they did enough to keep me interested. The sci-fi slant of comformity works well enough to keep it moving, though it can be a bit heavy-handed at times. Still, a solid entry into the genre and worth seeking out.

Rating: ***

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