By: Daniel Chadwick-Shubat
Produced by Ridley Scott, Equals is a Romeo/Juliet type love story. It’s plot is simple enough and it had the chance to stun its audiences with amazing story telling and the chance to one-up The Giver. Instead it leaves the audience feeling unsatisfied and uneducated as they leave the theater wondering, “What happened?!”.
An amazing cast with two of the most promising actors in Hollywood, Equals was one of my most anticipated movies of 2016, but it disappointed with little utilization of its cast, a thinly written script and erratic directing, leaving me wondering where did it all go wrong?
The story follows Silas (Nicolas Hoult) and Nia (Kristen Stewart), two star crossed lovers who are co-workers in a dystopian world where emotions have been genetically eliminated. A disease breaks out that reintroduces emotions to society and Silas and Nia are infected. They have to decide if they want to run away together or if they want to stay and face the possibility of being found out and “dealt with”.
Like I said before it has huge potential to deliver a daring and bold look at the value of human emotions. Instead it focuses more on how beautiful and visual the movie is and forgets about any sort of character utilization (Hoult and Stewart are criminally underused). While Drake Domerus’ last two films Like Crazy and Breathe In dealt with love in realistic ways but Equals looks at love in a way that many members of the audience can’t comprehend… what if it didn’t exist?
Obviously there are some positives to take away from Equals. Visually it touches the emotions in a way that The Giver never did, exploring in deep detail what it’s like to feel love for the first time in your life. It captures this feeling very honestly, and it leads to one of the best scenes in the movie.
Silas and Nia are in a bathroom and experience their first moments of intimacy. It makes for memorable viewing seeing these two people, reacting to touch, treasuring each moment with each other, which is sure to make members of the audience treasure their loved ones more.
The supporting cast was an enjoyable addition to Equals as they were used more wisely by Domerus. Jacki Weaver was a pleasure (as per usual) as a doctor and Guy Pearce as the leader of the self help group that Silas attends. Guy Pearce was especially surprising as we got to see a soft side to him that usually doesn’t show up in his acting. Toby Huss was great to see as George, check him out on AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, he’s brilliant.
I was expecting a lot from screenwriter Nathan Parker, who wrote the cult hit Moon, but sadly he didn’t even deliver. Equals definitely had the potential to be a sleeper hit. It definitely delivered for those wanting a more intelligent and beautiful version of Twilight. It’s beautiful, visual backdrop and strong supporting cast saved it from being one of the most anticipated critical flops of the year. But sadly it didn’t use the fantastic talent in the form of Hoult and Stewart and ended up being just another artsy, post apocalyptic love story, which surprisingly there are too many of.
What did you think of Equals? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
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