Saturday, September 20, 2008

Equilibrium (2002)

Equilibrium is a word that refers to balance, as derived from the word "Equal" or "Equality". The film, "Equilibrium" refers to it in an extended manner.

"Equilibrium" takes place in the future, where society is controlled by suppressing emotions through injectory fluid disseminated by buildings named "Equilibrium". The idea is that without feelings, no negative feelings such as rage, jealousy or envy will be channeled to create any destructive ideals, thus acquiring a serene state of balance. The plot revolves around the best Grammaton Cleric, John Preston (Christian Bale). These Clerics mete out justice by eliminating "sense offenders", the term used to describe people who didn't inject the fluids into themselves. Initially, John followed the law stringently but that changed when he accidentally breaks his dosage of the fluid. As John realizes what it is like to be able to have feelings, he begins to have his doubts about the Government, which he eventually attempts to overthrow.

"Equilibrium" is a roller-coaster ride with a few political concepts thrown in about society. It talks about a totalitarian society controlled by the Government and the sacrifices taken to implement it. Even if you don't appreciate political babble, "Equilibrium" is still an equally enjoyable movie at face value. The action scenes were very well done in style and in a reasonably realistic state. Although the concept behind the action, which is called "Gunkata", is a little absurd and paradoxical, I am willing to suspend a fair amount of disbelief and appreciate it. Apparently, John can "dodge" bullets by predicting where the enemy is going to shoot. The idea behind "Gunkata" is that it equips the practitioner with knowledge of statistically-traditional trajectories.

Christian Bale, as usual, does not disappoint and portrays complex emotions with subtlety. The fact that the scriptwriter implemented a fighting concept to allow cool fighting styles to seem possible already proves a decent effort since there are a lot of movies where the protagonist can run through 200 people firing machine guns without getting hit while he returns fire with a pistol and hitting everyone of them. I personally think it's a commendable effort and since the director was able to deliver the story and action well enough without making it look ridiculous, I'd rate this movie a 8/10.

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