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Monday, March 13, 2006

Equilibrium

I've been thinking about Equilibrium all day today, since my earlier post. It's not a very well known film in these parts and I missed it entirely in the theatres, but it is a favorite of mine. It is set in a futuristic world, where a strict regime has eliminated war by suppressing emotions: books, art and music are strictly forbidden and feeling is a crime punishable by death. The drug Prozium is administered to everyone to try and create a perfect society. Those enforcing the new laws are Grammaton Clerics, trained in what I find to be a fascinating form of martial arts based on the prediction of movement and it even brings gunplay into the movements and style of fighting of martial arts. It sounds corny to describe, but the styles and katas are expanded to include this and it really works. Cleric John Preston (Christian Bale) is a top ranking government cleric responsible for destroying those who resist the rules. His wife was taken for the crime of emotion a few years ago (he turned her in) and he is left with his 2 children and a partner, whom he eventually has to turn in for the same reason. When he misses a dose of Prozium, a mind-altering drug that hinders emotion, Preston, who has been trained to enforce the strict laws of the new regime, begins to feel emotions for the first time and he grapples with the feelings, creativity and what it truly means to be free and an individual. He suddenly becomes the only person capable of overthrowing the current regime and slowly, under the guise of trying to find the resistance to overthrow it, end up entangled in their actions.
I probably gave away too much, but the ideas and concepts behind this film are fascinating to me. The style and fighting in the film is very well done, and the sets and such are very impressive and stylish, but there is so much more to the film than just action. Christian Bale is outstanding. When I heard he was going to be Batman, I was excited, simply from his role in this film. This is one of the films in my life that really challenged my thinking and how I felt about myself and about the ideas of freedom and emotions and just what I would be willing to do or give up for peace and freedom.
I do believe I have to put on my shiny new shoes and wander off to the rental people and watch this again tonight...if I ever see it for sale I will buy it. We don't get all the new releases here and sometimes I see a few films I probably shouldn't, just because I crave the "theatre experience" but this film is not to be missed, in my opinion. Now it isn't for everyone...but it worked for me.
Well, I've blathered on enough. Go and see it. It is a fabulous movie. I am hoping V for Vendetta will be even better...

1 comments:

Thoth Harris said...

Somehow, I don't think V for Vendetta will be better.

For one thing, it is one of these cheesy comic books adaptations, if I understand it. No, not like Batman (which has spawned some interesting adaptations, including the one you mention, I mean like things like Hellboy (well that wasn't so so bad, or at least it's not the worst). Anyway, the trailers make me both curious and at the same time like, oh no, just more of the same thing. Not original.

I did enjoy Equilibrium. I saw it on cable here. I thought, is that Tom Cruise? No, indeed not. It was Christian Bale. And a very talented actor he is. Just go rent The Machinist