DVD Review: Equals

Conceal, don't feel.

Sometime in the future, society has figured out how to suppress all emotion. Those who do show signs of it are diagnosed with SOS - switched on syndrome. They're given medicine to try to combat emotion before they're taken off for more intense deprogramming. Silas (Nicholas Holt) after witnessing a suicide of a colleague notices Nia (Kristen Stewart) subtly reacting. He starts to feel different, and ends up being diagnosed with SOS. He and Nia start having an affair, and try to hide it for their own good.

Director Drake Doremus brought us films like Breath In and Like Crazy that I adored. Equals is very different on the outside, but explores a similiar theme: love. Forbidden love as well. Terrible things happen to people caught "coupling" as it's explained, so Nia and Silas have to be extra careful.

Holt and Stewart both eventually give great performances. As do actors like Guy Pearce and Jacki Weaver who show up later. I say "eventually" because the whole point is to act like they don't have any emotions at the beginning. The problem with the film is that it ends up being far too ambiguous. What is the point of the work they're doing? What happens next? These are all questions that I asked myself more than once as the film chugged along. It feels rather aimless and that's disappointing when Doremus' previous films had so much purpose. 

Recommended: No 

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "I don't feel it anymore." - Silas (Nicholas Holt)

12 comments:

  1. Blahhhh, Jenna watched this one and said it was pretty mediocre, too. I love the premise of it though, it sounds promising.
    Thanks for getting a Frozen song stuck in my head for the rest of the day!!
    - Allie

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    1. lol sorry. This film had such a good trailer too and I love the director's previous films. It's a shame it's so mediocre.

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  2. I wanted to watch this, I liked the trailer and thought this would be good. I might give this a shot but not any time soon.

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    1. Yeah it's not something that warrants rushing.

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  3. I would disagree that Stewart and Hoult only "eventually" give good performances. Their performances here are great from the very beginning. And this is precisely why you cast such heavyweights for these roles who could pull off these "emotionless" characters in such a movie, to convey the absolute struggle they're going through as they're slowly becoming human in this society. And those moments of struggle, whether it's Stewart trying desperately to hide her emotions, even though it becomes harder and harder for her, or just Hoult's character in general first discovering these new emotions, and being both excited and yet freaked out by them and what this means for him, these are moments that are truly compelling in their execution. Lesser actors would've had a harder time conveying the subtleties in such a compelling manner, but the cast makes this premise work with excellent performances from the very outset. :)

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    1. The fact that Hoult and Stewart are such strong actors already contributed to how underwhelming this felt to me. They didn't get to show how great they are, and that's a tad frustrating.

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  4. Aww man. I really liked this. And I liked that it wasn't a tidy ending.

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    1. I wish I would've liked this. I wanted too.

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  5. I wanted to see this because of Drake Doremus but I'll give it a go if it's on TV though w/ very low expectations.

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  6. Nice review. I love Stewart/Holt but not intrigued by the story enough to watch.

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.