Equals is cold and joyless

Yes it is possilble for a movie's deisgn to eclipse its emotions

EQUALS (Drake Doremus). 102 minutes. Opens Friday (July 15). See listing. Rating: NN

Drake Doremus’s sci-fi romance is set in a futuristic society where human emotion has been genetically eradicated. Everything is antiseptic white, from the Brave New World wardrobe to the sleek, boutique-style architecture. It all feels like living in an iPhone, surrounded by people who are not much more engaging than Siri.

The setting is stifling, and Doremus rigidly sticks to that tone even when Nicholas Hoult’s Silas discovers that, unlike his peers, he gets the fuzzy-wuzzies every time Kristen Stewart’s Nia blankly glances his way. There’s ample opportunity to have some fun with this scenario: Silas and Nia figure out how to smile, laugh and have sex together. 

Unfortunately, those moments are merely montage filler in a joyless affair that’s more concerned with world building, cool designs and colour filters.

The two finest assets, Hoult and Stewart, are left hanging. Both give strong performances, discreetly revealing emotion through their eyes or a crack in their lips, but their relationship never gets to breathe. 

Watching these two plot how to hide their connection is great and all, but how about seeing them actually enjoy it and giving us something to root for?

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