Equals tells the story of an emotionless utopia where two people fall in love when they regain their feelings from a mysterious disease, causing tensions between them and their society.
I don’t know what this film reminds me of the 2005 film The Island but it somehow does. Maybe it’s the world of the film or the environment the character’s find themselves in as in that of The Island. Or maybe it’s just the fact that I feel like I’ve seen something like this before and it was just not executed in a way that was not enjoyable. I don’t know what I expected from from this film but it was just something ‘more’ from a this futuristic Romeo and Juliet that undeniably draws it’s inspiration from both The Giver and 1984, though it hardly comes close to being on the same level. The story developed in a painfully slow manner and was paired with bad acting on all accounts. It’s melodramatic, dull, and predictably boring. How many ways could I describe this film with flowery niceties when it should just be described with one – horrendous.
What fascinates filmmakers and audiences about a dystopian society in all white where the emotions that we tormentingly enjoy are forbidden? Yet when filmmakers attempt at a futuristic dystopia or utopia, it fails so badly and makes us question why filmmakers continue to attempt to create such atrocities. Hosting such a story in this environment becomes such an inane setting for an outlawed love, giving it a bleach rinse and stripping it away of anything that could’ve made it interesting. If the goal of the society was to make everyone emotionless in their interactions, they went completely the other way. There’s still that sense of community amongst the characters as they all work in teams and social interaction is commonplace. This creates a major issue for the films world where emotional connection, or even connection at all, along with expressing their emotions, is NOT meant to be something the characters feel so at ease with.
Although this film proves to have an interesting premise, there is absolutely no chemistry between the two lovers of Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart. While Nicholas Hoult proves to hold some sort of talent in his profession, Kristen Stewart holds absolutely no talent whatsoever. She’s stale, cold, and emotionless, truly more of a disaster in this role than she’s ever been – save for Twilight, which made me repeatedly bang my head against the wall. Bel Powley proves to be in the same boat, a wrong casting choice for this film as she hardly seems to fit into the world this film weakly creates. All these actors are reduced to singular words or barely strung together sentences to describe what they’re feeling along with bad and out of focus cinematography with often warmer colours from the colder ones of their environment to visually describe their love for one another. they find their love in the sterile restrooms, which makes it harder to believe their supposed love.
Equals drags on long past the obvious points of storytelling that we almost take for granted. If this film was a short, it might’ve worked a lot better, especially with its pacing. There’s no mystery or suspense of what’s going to happen next. Don’t waste your time because it’s not something that you’ll ever get back.