Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult Are Lovers In A Dystopian Time In Equals
Couplers. They’re a danger to the utopian society at the centre of writer/director Drake Doremus’ Equals, where poverty, hunger, violence and crime have all been eradicated—along with the corresponding human emotions that cause these social ills. In a paradise where working hours are devoted to the further advancement of the species and leisure time is spent doing puzzles and your white clothes are always spotless because your soullessness lets you devote 100 per cent of your concentration to getting your caprese salad into your mouth, the only real danger is the resurfacing of those aforementioned genetically edited feelings.
Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult play good little worker drones and officemates who develop a sudden attraction to the adorable way the other bites their lip, becomes distracted at work, or subtly clenches a fist in reaction to a violent suicide. That kind of behaviour is unique to feelers—defective beings on their way to becoming couplers. Stewart and Hoult’s characters soon become a romantically involved and must hide their love for fear of being banished to the backward colonies where the defects live, huddled around fires, deprived of the comfort of an insta-meal or a crisp, white blazer.
Stewart’s Nia is adept at hiding her feeler status while Hoult’s Silas is not so great. When he begins to operate outside the routines of their highly regimented society, she tries to save both herself and him by playing things extra cool. Of course, if it worked, this wouldn’t be much of a movie.
Equals is a classic story of forbidden love with something to add to a film genre that’s become pretty crowded as of late. Expect no epic Hunger Games-esque standoffs or Divergent series coups. While still feeling like a YA dystopian flick, Equals is infused with the intelligence, slowness, and subtlety co-writer Nathan Parker brought to the 2009 sci-fi film Moon. It’s a fitting follow-up to Doremus’ 2011 drama Like Crazy—more romance than science fiction, with some cool futuristic elements used to tell a familiar story in a fresh way.
Equals hits theatres today. Watch the trailer below.