Thursday, July 21, 2016

'Equals' adds up to boredom

Welcome to another dystopian future. Although it surely wasn't intended, director Drake Doremus' Equals goes a long way toward providing an effective cure for insomnia. A deeply boring romance between two characters who live in a futuristic society where emotions are suppressed for the good of something called "the Collective," Equals suffers from a pervasive lack of verve. In the movie's world, people aren't supposed to touch. Humans still propagate, but conception has been turned into a chore. Not everyone in this society has managed to stamp out feeling, though. Some have been diagnosed with SOS (Switched On Syndrome). Most SOS people eventually are eliminated, but a few pretend to abide by The Collective's norms. They're called "hiders." Nicholas Hoult plays a diagnosed victim of SOS who falls for a "hider" portrayed by Kristen Stewart. Let's just say that their love affair plumbs new depths of listlessness. Guy Pearce and Jacki Weaver offer minimal support as two additional "hiders," those who fake the numbed-out look that their society requires. Doremus floods the screen with whites (interiors and clothing), a choice that only adds to the monotony. Some end-of-picture suspense ignites a small spark, but, by then, it's too late. Rigor mortis already has set in.

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