Equus

124
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 65%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 78%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10

Synopsis


Downloaded times
August 12, 2020

Director

Cast

Jenny Agutter as Jill Mason
Joan Plowright as Masha
Peter Firth as Alan Strang
Richard Burton as Martin Dysart
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.24 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
P/S N/A / N/A
2.3 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Cheetah-6 10 / 10 / 10

Unique, Underappreciated Masterpiece

A rare and masterful adaptation of a piercing psychological stage drama. An emotionally unstable young man trying to come to terms with his love and erotic attraction as well as religious like worship of horses. Absolutely gripping! I remember when I saw this on stage, reading in the program, that the writer Peter Schafer was traveling through the English countryside when he happened to come across a local news story of a young man who had blinded 6 horses at a nearby stable. Hence the basis for this story. So in a way it's a true one, with the details behind the event being Schafer's invention. Something in itself quite remarkable. It's hard to image someone taking that bit of information and fabricating anything more probing or riveting than this. This work takes full advantage of the possibilities of the screen yet retains the intimate feel of a play. Especially effective are Richard Burton's monologues directed to the viewer with enough food for thought to last through many a viewing. Also thought provoking are his conversations with a female colleague about his experience with this emotionally disturbed young man. The way nudity is handled in this film is also a rare pleasure. Unashamedly presented in all it's natural beauty, both male and female. Most films seem to act like male nudity is just too shocking for us to handle. It's curious to me that a number of reviews that I've read by professional critic's seem to have been made too uncomfortable with the depth and intensity of this film to give it the top rating that it deserves. Few films have dared be this bold, yet simple in it's natural telling of a highly unusual act of violence by a young man emotionally out of control and all the darkness that lie beneath. Also interesting is a story such as this where the therapy and healing taking place seems to be shared equally by patient and doctor. No other film has played that angle with the understanding of Equus. It's a shame this film is so under appreciated. It should easily be in the top 250 and quite possibly the top 100 of all time. The fact it has only 233 votes at Imdb is evidence of it's undeserved obscurity. Rent this when your ready for something profound and unforgettable.

Reviewed by chrstphrtully 10 / 10 / 10

Superb Film on its Own, Different Terms

One of the most intriguing comments I've heard about this film is that it pales in comparison to the stage production. On the one hand, this is true in that the film loses much of the inventive staging that was inherent in the play (e.g., convention of having the "horses" played by actors in black with horsehead headdresses, the tight focus of the action within a small perimeter). The problem, however, isn't so much Sidney Lumet's concept of the film as it is the limitations of the medium itself -- devices which are striking on stage simply don't work on film. Indeed, those directors who have tried to make such conventions work usually end up shortchanging the material. And it is here where Lumet's genius comes in. If there is one thing that Lumet has a feel for, it is the gritty, down-to-earth feel of everyday life. While this usually means New York life, he does a marvelous job in this film of capturing the drab sterility of Dysart's world, as well as that of the Strang home. When these are compared to the vivid, almost ethereal shots of Alan in the stables or with the horses on the field (also, compare the striking image of horse and rider on the beach with the remainder of the beachgoers), we can fully understand Dysart's frustration about "looking at pages of centaurs trampling the soil of Argos" while Alan "is trying to become one in a Hampshire field". Alan has found a way to completely escape the drabness of his world, while Dysart has become sterile trying to find ways not remind himself of it. Similarly, the tight perimeter of the stage play has been replaced by tight focused shots which, more often than not, achieve the same result through a claustrophobic effect. Likewise, the absence of theatrical staging does nothing to dampen the power of Shaffer's text, which remains as potent as ever. Indeed, what's often overlooked about this play is that, while the visual images of the staging are striking, they are, in most instances, completely detached from the central thrust of the text, both as a mystery and as a commentary on the consequences of society's demand for "normality" at any cost. In this regard, the performances are outstanding. Richard Burton gives one of his last great performances as Dysart, showing us the literally crumbling facade of the doctor's spirit, while at the same time giving us a complete character (contrast his cynicism throughout with the moments of tenderness, such as those shown to Alan's mother and to Alan himself after the final session). Likewise, Peter Firth presents us with a cipher, wrapped up in television jingles, who is revealed to us piece by piece through moments of vulnerability until we see in full force what has made his character commit these horrible crimes. The rest of the cast -- notably Joan Plowright, Colin Blakely and Jenny Agutter -- do wonders with the limited dialogue they have to work with. Put simply, Equus is an astonishing film to watch, provided that you're ready to watch it as a film, rather than as a filmed stage play. For those who hold to the notion that only the stage devices can make this play work, I'd advise them not to watch any film adapted from a play, as they'll almost certainly be disappointed every time.

Reviewed by nikmaack 10 / 10 / 10

Unique, impressive, dark, intelligent.

I loved this movie so much, I found a copy of the play online, bought it, and read it with glee. It's a beautiful, complicated film -- definitely a must see. What I especially liked was the way the movie handled religion and insanity. Is curing someone of their mental illness taking away their religion? Is psychiatry a "cult of the normal"? Richard Burton delivers hypnotic sermons, staring straight into the camera, as we slowly zoom in on his face. He confesses that he's jealous of his patient. The boy is in pain, but passion is pain. The boy is worshiping a pagan god -- something Burton wishes he could do as well. Instead, he settles for flipping through books, looking at photographs of old artifacts. The therapist wonders if he's taking the boy's god away by curing him. If you like Carl Jung, you'll love this film! Equus, archetypal God, we love you! Some complain that the psychology in this film is "campy" at best. Others say the film can't possibly compare to the stage play. Well, fine. Maybe it shouldn't be used as a model for treating patients, and maybe plays are different than movies. But the film as a piece of art, on its own, is powerful, moving, and fascinating.

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