EQUILIBRIUM is George Orwell's 1984 meets THE MATRIX. This is the directing breakout of screenwriter Kurt Wimmer. The future
is bleak and sterile where people are devoid of emotion thanks to a drug they inject on a daily basis called Prozium. This
is a society that has saw emotions as the root of all problems after the last big war (World War 3 which started in the early
21st century). People who feel are sense offenders. People who own works of art and books with emotional content and personal
objects can mark you as a sense offender. This new society has set up and trained a force known as the Grammaton Clerics who
are trained in all forms of weapons and fighting techniques. EQUILIBRIUM is the story of Cleric John Preston (Christian Bale).
It begins when Preston and his partner, Cleric Partridge (Sean Bean), are in on a raid on some Sense Offenders. Partridge
is discovered to be carrying a book that wasn't burned. He tells Preston he will turn it in himself, but he doesn't. Preston
figures out Partridge has begun to feel. He goes outside of the city and finds his partner. Partridge is found out to be a
Sense Offender. Preston is assigned new partner, Brandt (Taye Diggs). T hings start to go wrong for Preston when he raids
the apartment of sense offender named Mary (Emily Watson) and when he accidentally let his dose of Prozium break and then
he begins to not take it anymore!
EQUILIBRIUM is the story of a person's struggle to feel. Should he feel? Will it
be worth the price? What will he do? Will he help the rebels who want to bring down the current society or will he turn them
The movie was shot on a budget of $20 million with shooting taking place in Berlin, Germany and the cities of
Rome and Lazio in Italy. Christian Bale plays Preston like a man who is sure of himself to a man who questions his new feelings,
the same feelings that his wife developed and lead her to be taken away. Dion Beebe did the cinematography of this cold grey,
black, and white world devoid of emotion- a sterile world. Dion also went on to do the cinematography for the recently released
Chicago starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere.
EQUILIBRIUM reminds me of other films like FAHRENHEIT 451 with
the scene where they take the flame thrower to the Mona Lisa. The black and white clothing, the sterile environment, the leader
of Equilibrium called the Father, and the lack of entertainment can be easily compared to the movie 1984 starring John Hurt.
John Hurt, like, Christian Bale, is a man who first questions the way society is and is it worth the risk to rebel against
society no matter what the cost is.
Unlike John Hurt, Christian Bale's character Preston is a well trained killing
machine on the side of the law. Preston can be compared to Fireman Montag in FAHRENHEIT 451. EQUILIBRIUM adds to the assortment
of films that paint bleak futures and dsytopic societies. The Clerics are like a form of unfeeling samurai who are dispensing
justice for The Father. The Clerics in way can be considered samurai due to the scene where Preston and Brandt fight with
wooden swords, and Preston has a samurai type sword on him when he is in his white dress uniform for ceremonial functions.
Other types who have swords with theme at ceremonies are Marines and Navy officers in past centuries (but Navy officers did
also carry swords on them all the time). Preston has to worry and be careful what he does because everyone is out to inform
on each other. The sterile society of Libria can be compared to Nazi Germany or Communist Soviet Union. The environment of
Libria is without color or artistic expression. The Father talking all the time on the TV screens echoes Big Brother in 1984.
Emily Watson's character Mary brings up a good point. Is Life worth living if you can't feel? EQUILIBRIUM is about the fight
to feel and the fight for the right to express the ideas that make people feel.
I'm very impressed with the world
and film Kurt Wimmer has created with EQUILIBRIUM. At some points, the movie could have turned into your usual bland action
packed movie, but I'm glad it didn't. I was entertained for a movie that lasts over 100 minutes. If this is what he can do
on $20 million, I wonder what he will do with a $100 million budget. Before I thought John Carpenter was the only proper director
to direct a remake of THE FORBIDDEN PLANET, but I have to say Kurt Wimmer could do the remake justice too.
It is a
shame the Dimension screwed the release and promotion of one of the best science fiction movies of recent years. They first
delayed the movie's release twice and finally give it a limited release in December with little TV ad coverage. I eagerly
await the next movie from Kurt Wimmer as a director. Too bad it was the butchered in the editing room effort ULTRAVIOLET.
DVD extras include two audio commentaries with director Kurt Wimmer (one with producer Lucas Foster) and a featurette
Finding Equilibrium. Wimmer does mention in one of the commentaries that he would love to do another cut of this film for
a future release on DVD.