Equilibrium is set in 2072 in Libria, a city-state, established by the survivors of World War III, which devastated the world.
Where a totalitarian government requires all citizens to take daily injections of “Prozium II” to suppress emotion and encourage obedience.
All emotionally stimulating material has been banned, and “Sense Offenders” – those who fail to take their Prozium – are put to death.
The government claims that the cause of all wars and violence is emotion.
Libria is governed by the Tetragrammaton Council, led by “Father”, who is seen only on giant video screens throughout the city.
At the pinnacle of Librian law enforcement are the Grammaton Clerics, who are trained in the martial art of gun kata.
The Clerics frequently raid the “Nether” regions outside the city to search for and destroy illegal materials – art, literature, and music – and execute the people hiding them.
A resistance movement, known as the “Underground”, emerges with the goal of toppling Father and the Tetragrammaton Council.
John Preston (Christian Bale) is a high-ranking Cleric. His wife, Viviana was executed as a Sense Offender.
Following a raid, Preston notices his partner, Errol Partridge (Sean Bean), saving a book of poems instead of turning it in for incineration.
Preston tracks down Partridge, who is hiding in the Nether region reading the book.
Partridge confesses to Preston that he believes he was wrong to serve the government.
He acknowledges that the consequences of feeling emotions are a “heavy cost”, but remarks, “I pay it gladly” as he slowly reaches for his gun.
Preston is forced to execute him.
Preston dreams occasionally about his wife and the day she was arrested.
After Preston accidentally breaks his daily vial of Prozium, his son Robbie enters and reminds him that he needs to report the loss and request a replacement, but Preston is unable to before going on the next raid.
As a result, he begins to experience brief episodes of emotion that evoke memories, stir feelings, and make him more aware of his surroundings.
He intentionally skips more doses of Prozium and hides them behind the mirror in his bathroom.