May 26, 2016

    Singapore settings in pretty dull love story

    EQUALS (NC16)

    Science fiction/102 minutes/

    Opens today

    Rating: 2/5

    YOU will need a lot of patience for this slow-burning romance.

    It is a good thing that director Drake Doremus has a great eye for aesthetics.

    Everything looks fantastic, from Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Tadao Ando's Awaji Yumebutai conference centre that served as the key set-piece to our very own Southern Ridges, and Doremus captures an attractively pristine, monochromatic environment.

    Hoult's lovely face adds to the appeal.

    The same can't be said about Stewart though, whose horrific eye bags make her look so haggard.

    Perhaps it's part of her "look", considering she's playing someone who's been trying hard to suppress her feelings.

    If this sounds superficial, that's the vibe Equals gives off.

    Stewart plays to her strength, being sullen most of the time. Hoult recycles his Warm Bodies performance, though watching him as an emotionless zombie is more fun.

    Thankfully, the pair have great chemistry, or Equals would be even more boring than it already is.

    The plot moves at a snail's pace, so don't be surprised if you find yourself nodding off.

    And when the big reveal finally comes, you feel so cheated as it's basically a rip-off from Shakespeare's most famous tragic love story, Romeo And Juliet.

    Appearances can take you only that far.