This week’s Sci-fi movie analysis regards the movie Equilibrium (2002), featuring Christian Bale and Taye Diggs. The movie was written and directed by Kurt Wimmer.
The movie synopsis:
A man who dares to feel finds his life in danger in this cautionary science fiction drama. In the future, after a Third World War has decimated much of the Earth’s population, a new nation known as Libria rises up under the unquestioned leadership of Dupont (Angus MacFadyen). Believing human emotions and their expression were to blame for the failings of past societies, The Father has decreed that all citizens must take a daily dose of Prozia II, a drug which levels out the emotional landscape, and that all forms of creative expression are against the law; violating either regulation can be punished by death. John Preston (Christian Bale) is a Grammaton, an elite law enforcement officer who tracks down and punishes “sense offenders.” One day, Preston accidentally fails to take his Prozia II, and for the first time begins experiencing emotions himself. Preston becomes aware of an underground of rebels who refuse to take their medication and have embraced art and literature, and he finds himself becoming infatuated with one of their number, Mary O’Brian (Emily Watson).
Watch the trailer here [or watch the embedded youtube video]
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a huge fan of Christian Bale. There’s quite a handful of movies in which he displayed his qualities as an actor (to name a few: The Machinist, American Psycho, The Prestige, etc.), and Equilibrium is no exception.
This is Kurt Wimmer’s second movie (of three) as a Director, although he has written many scripts (such as Salt, Law Abiding Citizen and The Recruit). Now, I have to say I’m quite picky when it comes to the general direction of a movie, so I can understand why Wimmer didn’t direct more than three movies – it’s not his strength. The direction sometimes feels rather gimmicky – he tried to copy the directing style of The Wachowskis of The Matrix, but he didn’t quite achieve that goal.
However, the script of this movie is brilliant. For those that have read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the story concept and theme might sound awfully familiar. Equilibrium is a modern, and much cooler execution of that idea.
What would it be like to not be able to experience emotions? We know what emotions are, what they feel like… Do you sometimes wish you didn’t have them?
Or if, in the hypothetical situation, we would lose the right to “feel”, would you fight the authorities to get them back?
I don’t think I ever wished to not have emotions. I hate to feel sad, but I love to feel happy. I think the emotion of happiness makes up for all the times I’ve felt sad, so I’ve never really even wished for losing the ability to experience emotion.
Honestly, I think that our emotions are what makes us human, and interesting. I study psychology – what can I say, without human emotion, psychology gets sort of boring.
I’m not sure if I personally would have the guts to fight the authorities as I have never tested it, but perhaps I do… If I was as kick-ass as John Preston in Equilibrium, I would be sure to take them on! I think…
Please share your thoughts!
…On an unrelated note… Happy birthday to my mom! :p