Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Equals (2015) Tribeca 2016

In a dystopian post apocalyptic world emotions in people have been genetically engineered out of people. All emotional contact such as sex and love are forbidden However sometimes emotion appears and when it reaches a certain level the people are carted off and euthanized. In this world Silas begins to feel the emotions within him awaken and is diagnosed with SOS. At the same time he begins to think that Nia may actually be able to feel emotions and he begins to follow her...

The trick with this film is that in order to truly enjoy the film you have to divorce it from just about every other dystopian film you've ever seen.  This film has riffs on THX 1138, GATTACA, 1984, LOGAN'S RUN, ROLLERBALL not to mention steals from things like Romeo and Juliette. I say this because I walked out of the Tribeca Press screening with a long list of films this is like. I also got into a discussion with Hubert Vigilla in which I complained that the film borrowed too much and if only had done something unique, say didn't look like every other sterile mathematically precise world this could have stood on it's own. But as it is it doesn't and so it kind of flounders.

On the train ride home I was thinking about the film and I realized that if you can get past all of the borrowed crap the film is an intriguing examination about who we are and what role emotions play. I'm not going to discuss it here, the film needs to be experienced for  itself and it doesn't need me spoon feeding you what I think. I will say that the key to me is the end of the film. A bit enigmatic and not what was expected (especially with so many borrows) its the ending that lifts the film up from the pack and makes it worth discussing. Its one of those moments that you can talk about for hours, does it mean one thing or another, and it's the one thing that is truly unique to the film- and we are better for it.

Am I a huge fan of the film? No, there are flaws with the world set up if you think about it too much, and as I said the film is too similar to other films, however if you are willing to work with the film and meet it half way then I think you'll be intrigued

1 comment:

  1. I must voice strong disagreement with some of the reviews that have taken this one down. Superb visualization of this futuristic landscape, riveting narrative arc and splendid performance. As unlikely as it seems to me, I'd list it as one of my favorite films of this festival!