Movie Review: Equilibrium

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Nothing says dystopia like repressing emotions and creativity, as well as the need to obey. According to this film, it’ll happen in a few decades. One thing is for certain: we will always have good ol’ Ludwig van in a dystopian society.

An enforcement officer, in a world where feelings are suppressed through medication, misses a dose and sees the world in a new light.

I had not heard of this film until I noticed it was on the roster for this semester in Film Club. I heard, through various people, that this was an overlooked film. Given the recent run of dystopian films, based on books mostly catered to young adults, I thought it would be yet another film but more for adults. Within the first few minutes, I noticed traces of Fahrenheit 451 and THX 1138. I shrugged it off and figured it was best to see what else the film had to offer.

What’s interesting is that there is no futuristic technology, even though it is set in the future. When the film was released, the use of tablets with styluses wasn’t in full swing or as modern was what we have now. Televisions have been and can be large, though the preferred shape is more rectangular than square as seen in the film. It doesn’t date the film as heavily as other future films.

When the majority of an action scene is spent with gunfire, I turn off my mind and just wait for the scene to end. However, the fight choreography is interesting to look at, at least when you can see it. I haven’t seen a gun used as blunt weapon with such force and dexterity.

But why suppress emotions and creativity? Simply put, it restricts dangerous thoughts. Using pills to restrict emotions isn’t anything new, as seen in THX 1138. Unlike the aforementioned film, the feelings are more about caring for others rather than the self.

The soundtrack, while evoking some elements from The Matrix, does become repetitive and intrusive, especially during serious moments. Even when it was quiet, I felt that some scenes were better off without it.

While it does have some things to say, those sentiments have been said before in other works. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by The Matrix because of the fight choreography or from seeing other, better executed dystopian films. In the end, it was like I had taken some doses of that Prozium in the film.

5/10

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