Equilibrium - Review - Northwest Evening Mail
Source: Northwest Evening Mail
DARK VISION OF A PASSIONLESS LAND
22 March 2003
(106 minutes, 15)
Beyond planning next year's holidays the future never enters our heads
unless you are a science fiction writer or filmmaker.
Then it's a dark dystopian future of suppressed people in the grip of brutal
So, from that point of view, there's nothing new in Equilibrium, starring
Christian Bale as cleric John Preston, a best-of-the-best enforcer of a
Only this a very dark vision where all the things that make us human, the
love of music, poetry, art, each other, are crimes and punishable by death.
Regular doses of emotion-suppressing Prozium keep the people under control
but an underground movement fights the fight.
Preston is partnered with Partridge (Sean Bean) who has stopped taking the
tablets and quickly despatched when he allows himself to be caught reading
Yeats (fine choice for a last read).
All clerics are trained in martial arts and Preston is a master of a spectacular
skill enabling him to see off a dozen gunmen without receiving so much as a
Preston is also a widower left with two children after his wife was incinerated
for a sense offence - an act he treated with the required dispassion.
"What did you feel?" he is asked.
"I didn't feel anything," he replies.
"That's my boy," says Big Brother, or in this case The Father, who rules this
monotone world of Libria.
Preston's duties bring him into contact with Mary O'Brien played by Emily
Watson and that old devil called love raises its head.
Consequently he deliberately stops taking Prozium and begins to feel for the
first time and joins the resistance.
State of the art SFX are used sparingly and to good effect with Bale a class
act as Preston.
Equilibrium is well worth seeing.
(94 minutes, PG)