How does Equilibrium fulfil the conventions of a dystopic text? In what way does it subvert them? 1000-1500 words. A dystopia is a futuristic and technologically advanced oppressive world with an overbearing totalitarian government who maintain strict authoritarian control over its population. Dystopia’s are often concealed as utopias since everybody appears to be equal and life appears to be fair, but in reality freedom is greatly restricted under a dystopia. Kurt Wimmer’s Equilibrium (2002) is a film that is strongly influenced by dystopic texts such as “Brave New World” and “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, and therefore tends to use many of the conventions of the dystopic genre. The head of the totalitarian government in ‘Equilibrium’ is known as the ‘Father’, which was inspired by Big Brother in Nineteen Eighty-Four. ‘Father’ never directly interacts with anyone other than the ruling council, but is omnipresent throughout the city as he listens and watches through video screens. The primary role of the Father is to distract the public and to imitate a strong powerful leader who everyone can follow, when really the Father is not a real person – Vice-Council DuPont is behind the shadows making all the decisions in Libria. This is seen when Cleric Preston asks about a mission he was given, and the only answer he gets is “call it Father’s will.” This is a common convention of dystopic texts – as in Nineteen Eighty-Four, “Big Brother” existed to personify the Party, who would “exist as long as the party exists”, but in other words was not a real person. Equilibrium is also a typical dystopic text in the rules and restrictions that are placed upon the civilians. Civilians are not allowed to feel emotions – they are required to take a drug called Prozium to suppress all feelings of joy, jealousy and grief, and anything that promotes emotion is not allowed, which means there is a ban of art, luxurious objects, music and generally anything colourful. This...
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