Equals, Blu-ray (2016)

by | Sep 7, 2016 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews

A moving sci-fi film about a society in which emotions are forbidden.

Equals, Blu-ray (2016)

Cast: Nicholas Hoult Kristen Stewart, Bel Powley, Guy Pearce
Director: Drake Doremus
Studio: A24/Lionsgate (9/6/16)
Video: 1.85:1 for 16:9 screens, 1080p HD color
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH
Extras: “Switched On”, “The Collective,” “Utopia” – commentary by the director, cinematographer & editor
Length: 93 min.
Rating: ****

This takes place in a post-apocalyptic society which has formed apart from an area known only as “the peninsula,” about which nothing is known but those people (if they exist) are not living a futuristic lifestyle as the people in this one. Only emotions and coupling of opposites is strictly forbidden, and inoculations are used to prevent what is called “SOS” – giving in to emotions.

Two young illustrators, who are part of this society, find they have a thing for one another and begin a secret love affair. The only thing that bothered me a bit was that the female seemed rather butch and not the sort most heterosexual men would go nuts over. The frustrations each feels for the other when alone are clearly shown. There is no reference to the populating of this world or any references to cloning.  The conversations between the lovers are so low that you may need to turn the volume up to hear them.

It turns out there is a group sort of like AAA members, who share their frustrations and experiences with living with emotions in this society. Those who have covered up their emotions are known as “hiders.” The couple have already decided to leave the society and go to the peninsula, but then a new inoculation is announced for everyone which will prevent them ever having any emotions at all. Some members of the underground group aid the couple in their leaving, but they are caught eventually by the totalitarian state.

—John Sunier

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