Team Experience is at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here's Jason on Equals.
I'd be curious to know if Lil Nicky Hoult got into his parents Blockbuster stash around the tender age of eight and saw some things he wasn't supposed to see... like perhaps the 1996 film Trainspotting and the 1997 film Gattaca? Because he's totally spent the past year trying to remake the two of them. Kill Your Friends, the Trainspotting wannabe, has already come and gone without much love lost or gained, and now we have Equals, a shiny "doomed by science fiction" romance for the Swipe Right Age.
Equals - the tale of a gleaming future where emotion's verboten - makes a much more successful case for itself. Yes it echoes Andrew Niccol in every perfume-ad pretty shot, all futuristic silvers and golds shimmering beneath the camera's upturned palm. You've never seen skin as devastatingly luminescent as Hoult's here - he resembles nothing less an unnamed organism from under the sea seeing light for the first time, a spectacle of unspeakable translucence squinting at the sun.
His purity has a point and a purpose though, beyond just its usual pretty surface charms - his cheeks flood with color, bathing the screen and the palette, pinkening, tells us he's seeing what a lot of us have for awhile now... namely hot damn, Kristen Stewart, you're on fire! Burn it up!
Yes, the other half of this romance is no stranger to the soft glow of twilight (you know, Twilight) but far from sullen here KStew is a barely contained nervy jangle, a tremor, dark eyes sunken in a sea of foam. She makes you lean in, which is what this romance needs - look closer. Closer. And once you do, once you're spinning in their orbit, wham, that's that. You're under. They make a surprising pair but they work, and there's defnitely a queerness to it - they're meeting in the middle, gender-wise, with their utilitarian costuming and eyelashes for days; love like an invention, self-built, new and shiny... so shiny it stings.