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|“||How did it feel, Preston?||„|
|~ Vice-Counsel DuPont to John Preston.|
|“||Vice-Counsel DuPont: Wait! Wait! Look at me. Look at me. I'm life. I live... I, I breathe... I feel. Now that you know it... can you really take it? Is it really worth the price?
Preston: I pay it gladly.
|~ DuPont trying to convince Preston to not shoot him, and his last words.|
Vice-Counsel DuPont is the main antagonist in the 2002 film Equilibrium. Under the rule of a dictator who is simply dubbed "Father", DuPont is the nominal second-in-command of Libria, a totalitarian police state whose goal is to eradicate all the human emotions using a drug named "Prozium II". His title is "Vice-Counsel", but it is later revealed that he is the de facto dictator of Libria.
Following a Third World War, a city-state named Libria was formed with the intention of eradicating all human emotions, as this is believed to be the root cause of all human conflict. The state is governed by the Tetragrammaton Council who is "led" by a Big Brother-esque public figure known only as 'Father', and DuPont serves as a high ranking official within the council. Father encourages people to suppress their emotions by taking daily injections of a chemical known as Prozium, and any form of art, music or literature is illegal and incinerated on sight.
The Tetragrammaton Council employs Sweepers to enforce the law and Grammaton Clerics to hunt down and expose 'Sense Offenders', people who are feeling. One particular cleric, named John Preston, eventually ceases his dose of Prozium, after accidentally breaking a vial of it, and begins to feel emotion himself. DuPont tells Preston that there is a traitor amongst the Clerics and dispatches Preston to find and expose them, as well as contact a resistance group known as the 'Underground' and bring them before Father and the Council.
After Preston becomes involved with the resistance group and they persuade him to try and assassinate Father in order to begin a revolution. Seeing as Father never grants an audience to anyone, Preston realizes that the only way to get close to him would be if he arrested the resistance and brought them to him, to which the resistance leader agrees. However, Preston's new partner, Cleric Andrew Brandt, discovers that he is feeling and takes him to DuPont, telling him that Preston is the traitor he's been looking for. Preston manages to trick DuPont into believing that Brandt is actually the traitor, and DuPont sends him away to be executed. Preston asks DuPont if he can meet with Father seeing as he is the one who has found and captured the resistance, and DuPont accepts his request.
Later, Preston is taken to meet Father but discovers that Brandt is still alive, having been used by DuPont as a ruse to expose Preston as the true traitor. It is also revealed that DuPont is actually Father, as the real Father had died years ago and the Council had elected him to continue his legacy. Before DuPont's guards can seize him, Preston kills them all in a fierce firefight and eventually reaches DuPont's office. He notices that the room is filled with intricate artwork and furniture and realizes that DuPont is himself feeling and never takes Prozium. DuPont taunts Preston, asking how he feels now that he has exposed the resistance and sent them all to their deaths, but Preston quickly kills the last few bodyguards with a samurai sword. DuPont sends Brandt to attack Preston but he kills him too by slicing his face off. Finally, DuPont picks up a gun and tries to shoot Preston, but Preston grabs another gun lying nearby and the pair engages in a 'gun kata' battle. Preston gains the upper hand and holds DuPont at gunpoint, but DuPont tries to convince Preston to spare him by asking if he could live with the guilt of killing someone who is 'feeling' and knows how beautiful life is. Preston replies by telling him that he'd gladly pay the price and shoots DuPont in the chest, killing him.