The campaign for Equals back in July walked the line between selling the movie as a science-fiction story about a society of…well…equals and a love story between Silas and Nia, two workers in the department of news and propaganda.
The story follows Silas (Nicholas Hoult), for the most part, who’s beginning to experience some signs of emotions, something that’s dangerous in society. Mia (Kristen Stewart) is a coworker and he immediately recognizes that she’s even farther down that road than he is. They connect and fall in love, all of which is strictly forbidden and decide to try and escape to the hinterlands, which are far outside the civilization of the city. Through a series of events, things don’t work out as they plan, of course.
What I found was that the movie itself is far more interested in the drama of the two lovers than it is with world-building. There’s enough backstory here for the audience to get a sense of the *why* behind society’s rules and structures and show the roles Silas and Nia play in it. But it never goes too deep into that, so we’re not burdened with needing to form opinions of the rulers or governors who are overseeing things. We know enough but not so much it distracts from the love story on display.
While Hoult is good, the show really belongs to Stewart. Her performance as Nia is just great as she takes us through the stages of Nia finally giving in to the emotions she’s been trying to hide and repress from everyone around her. Again, the movie ostensibly follows Silas but Nia quickly becomes the more interesting of the two, despite the fact she’s farther along the emotional journey than he is.
If there’s anything that the campaign didn’t get quite right, it’s that it didn’t get that focus on Stewart’s performance accurate. She’s not just someone Hoult reacts to, sh’e a primary mover of the story. Other than that, the campaign was pretty accurate for the movie, which is streaming now on Amazon Prime.