Equilibrium (2002), Kurt Wimmer
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
William Butler Yeats, The Wind Among the Reeds” (1899)
Equilibrium is my favorite movie of all times. This is shortly what it’s about:
In a futuristic world, a strict regime has eliminated war by suppressing emotions: books, art and music are strictly forbidden and feeling is a crime punishable by death. Cleric John Preston (Bale) is a top ranking government agent responsible for destroying those who resist the rules. 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, suddenly becomes the only person capable of overthrowing it.
– Written by Anonymous
via Equilibrium (2002) – Plot Summary – IMDb.
Before Cleric Preston stops taking Prozium, he kills his partner and best friend, Cleric Partridge, whom he caught in the act of reading and enjoying Yeats. Partridge provoked Preston to kill him, because he was caught performing a Sense Offense – the punishment of which is being burnt alive. Cleric Partridge has stopped taking the doze for a while, and his suffering was well perceived as he watched the death of innocent people, guilty of feeling, and incineration of works of art like the Mona-Liza. Partridge was willing to die for Yeats’s words and the ideas they represented. How magnificent!
Imagine living in a world without books, without poetry, without literature, without art, without music, without feelings. Like zombies, like robots and machines. What’s the point of your existence then? It doesn’t matter how many problems come my way, and how crappy I feel sometimes, I always feel better just by knowing that I can read an awesome book, wonder at an elaborate work of art and indulge in a fantastic pleasure of a musical piece.