Equals is a 2015 American science-fiction romantic drama film directed by Drake Doremus. Produced by Michael Pruss, Chip Diggins, Ann Ruak, Michael Schaefer, Ridley Scott, and Jay Stern, and written by Nathan Parker from a story by Doremus.
It stars Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart as two people infected with a disease that regains their ability of compassion and emotion in a dystopian world where emotions do not exist; additional roles are played by Guy Pearce and Jacki Weaver.
The film had its world premiere in the international competition section at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival. The film had its North American premiere in the Special Presentations programme at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was released on May 26, 2016 through DirecTV Cinema prior to opening in a limited release on July 15 by A24.
In a futuristic dystopian utopia, citizens, known as “members” live under the Collective, the legislative body who monitor the people’s actions. Citizens are mentally stabilized and all emotions and most illnesses are eradicated, with emotion and sexual activity contrary to the society’s rules, and conception is through artificial insemination via a conception summons.
Silas, a citizen, works as an illustrator for Atmos. Upon seeing two citizens detained by officials returning home, he is reminded of an epidemic of Switched On Syndrome (S.O.S), a disease that has 4 stages that regains those infected emotion albeit behavioral impacts as a side effect, and will lead to those eventually contained by the Defective Emotional Neuropathy Facility (the DEN), a Collective-led institution, if so deemed non-“productive”. An employee commits suicide the next day falling to his death and everyone gathers behind the windows and wonders who he was. Silas notices fellow worker Nia thoroughly assessing the situation and ignores it. However, during the presentation of a spacecraft, he again sees Nia’s facial expression betray her emotions and he then returns home.
During the course of the next day, Silas becomes distracted during a conference at Atmos, falls asleep more often, and experiences a nightmare for the first time. He subsequently goes for a check up and is befriended by an official named Jonas with stage 2 SOS. He becomes diagnosed with Stage 1 S.O.S and is given a prescription. Nevertheless, Silas progressively worsens, as his drawings become emotional and his interest in Nia grows, examining her work at night. One day, he follows Nia into the bathroom and comforts her. She reveals that she had S.O.S for over a year and three months and was hiding it because she was scared. He then kisses her but hears Leonard, the company manager, in the bathroom and converses with him. Leonard spots Nia’s interface on and reveals that he has been monitoring Silas. Silas decides to get a job separate from Nia in a gardening section.
Leonard introduces Silas’ replacement, Dominic, to Nia the next day. Nia, during a conversation with Dominic, suffers a slight anxiety attack during lunch break. At night while picking up their prescriptions Jonas invites Silas for a walk, and then discloses that he is part of a secret support group and offers help. He decides to go, where he meets fellow members Bess, Peter, Thomas, Gil, Max and Alice and learns that the DEN’s patients half of the time, mostly through encouragement, commit suicide. Nia then shows up at his apartment and they have sex, agreeing to spend more time there. Thereafter, the Ashby ENI cure for S.O.S is announced and successfully created. Scared, the two decide to go to the Peninsula, a secluded, primitive section of land, to the bewildered support of the group, who warn them to never return if successful. Jonas gives Silas instructions to ask for Oliver, a pilot, to fly him to the Peninsula. Silas and Nia make plans to go to Wellington, the closest location towards the border, on Saturday. However, Nia gets a conception summons and goes to the clinic, where she discovers that she is pregnant and so is taken to the DEN.
Source Page – Wikipedia