Directed by Drake Doremus
A futuristic love story set in a world where emotions have been eradicated.
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★★★½ review by Lucy on Letterboxd
kstew deserves an oscar for pretending to be This Straight
★★★★½ review by Kaci Elizabeth on Letterboxd
The hardest part after watching this film, is trying to wrap my head around any thought process that will help me actually put my feelings into words.
First off; The directing and cinematography is the most beautiful and elegant thing I have witnessed in film for a long time. The shots not only played on color as well as shadows like the poster indicates but truly held the intensity that the film wants you to feel. The shots linger in all of the right scenes and get closer right when they need to. In all, pure genius there.
The writing is crisp, clean, scary and metaphorical. Every word is the right word. Mumbles. Everything.
The acting. When you take Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart, put them together in a film where they are feeling emotions and things for the first time, they collide like nothing I have ever seen. They really knew how to grab the audience by the heart and tear it into a million pieces. Not in a crying sort of way but a 'WOULD THIS SCENE HURRY UP BECAUSE I'M GOING CRAZY I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS' kind of way. Or a grab their faces and smush them together already kind of way.
Do not get me started on how many ways this entire film could be interpreted.
I am deducting a half of a star due to emotional turmoil that I suffered from the anxiety and lingering in the film (even if I loved it once it was over or onto the next scene) and also for the fact that the score kept going over a lot of the scenes so it made it a little difficult to hear the main actors at points.
★★★★ review by Dawson Joyce on Letterboxd
A rare piece of modern sci-fi filmmaking that focuses more on emotion and character as opposed to action and effects, Equals is also a thought-provoking romantic drama from director Drake Doremus, with powerful lead performances from Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart, gorgeous cinematography, and absorbing visuals.
★★★★ review by Ryan Rosendal on Letterboxd
Boy, a lot of your affection for this film will depend on how much you like pretty young people staring at each other with looks of incredible longing.
Thankfully I'm into that kind of thing so I absolutely adored "Equals." I'm sure someone can poke holes in the film's sci-fi society but I was struck by how moving the central relationship is, with Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart delivering wonderfully small and subtle performances.
★★★½ review by Milez Das on Letterboxd
Set in futuristic dystopian utopia, humans are stabilized of all their emotions and showing any indications of emotions they are diagnosed with SOS (Switched-On Syndrome) which restores emotions in a human being and are sent to the Den.
Silas works as an illustrator at Atmos. One day while working a worker commits suicide, while everyone starts to analyze the person Silas observes Nia who gets an emotional reaction but contains it to herself. With days passing, Silas is diagnosed with Stage 1 SOS. He confronts Nia where she reveals she is self diagnosed and has been a hider. They start to feel emotions for themselves with little control over their feeling they fall in love.
With getting caught at any time becomes a risk and a cure on its way. Silas and Nia get stuck in their world of love trying to figure out what they want to do and how they should escape this world where they won't be accepted.
Directed by Drake Doremus, Equals creates a sense of feeling that strips away that makes us humans. Both Silas and Nia are shown trying to figure out this new found feeling they are having, the attraction, the feeling of being close. Drake Doremus uses close ups at most times to show how their body language is changing. Showing how it becomes hard to contain these feeling and just live on being a robot with a routine.
Equals works in exceptionally well because of Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult's chemistry. The story is about their love and their new found emotions that were already there from the start. The scene of Nia knocking in Silas's apartment, starting to cry as she can't hold onto this anymore as they finally make love, giving out everything they can to each other.
What I liked about Equals is how Drake Doremus presents this idea and how both Kristen and Nicholas handle their characters. Equals lacks in showing that feeling you get of getting on edge of your seat. In its final act it becomes predictable but it brings life in itself at the end.
We live with our emotions. The imperfection, the good, the bad, the love, the hate...these things makes us what we are. Stripping us from them or stabilizing them will make us nothing less than a robot.
Kristen Stewart as Nia gives another brilliant performance. Even though Nicholas Hoult handles his character well, it is Kristen that steals every frame away from him. It is like Kristen holds on whatever hope you have from this film. At times I feet that the story presented even though interesting, it falls short of Kristen Stewart's incredible performance here.
Equals is not a movie that will hang onto you or for long. The only thing you will remember from this movie is Kristen Stewart. It presents an idea that is interesting and would have been great if it was written by either Charlie Kaufmann or Spike Jonze.
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