In dystopian drama Equals, directed by Drake Doremus, emotions and love are forbidden, to encourage more productivity at work.
Even when someone falls from a building and dies, the witnesses can’t react. Anyone who does is suspected of suffering Switched On Syndrome (SOS); in some cases, a diagnosis means being put to death.
Throughout the first half of the movie, all the characters are utterly expressionless, a particularly impressive accomplishment on the part of the cast.
But love is part of human nature. Nia (Kristen Stewart) and Silas (Nicholas Hoult) are scientists working in the same office. When Silas realises that he likes Nia, he gets a check-up, and is confirmed to be in the first phase of SOS. But this doesn’t stop him from chasing Nia - and she soon falls for him, too.
The storyline is completely unexpected, and the challenge of putting oneself in Nia and Silas’ shoes adds to the appeal of the film. When a permanent cure for SOS is discovered, the audience will be completely engaged in whether the pair will choose to be cured, or to face the consequences of their disease.
The minimalist settings, and white and grey costumes add to the bleakness of this story