Disappointing... yet brilliant

Random and not-so-random thoughts about movies

LFF#8: Compliance

Compliance wants to be a talking point, have audiences emerging debating ‘what would you have done?’ or ‘They say it is based on real story, but seriously?’
During one busy day at a typical mid-American fast food joint, something strange happens. The exact what and just how I’ll leave out, but I think the title gives a chunky clue. The moral of the story might be the Stanford Prison Experiment revisited. Maybe it is trying to explain Abu Ghraib or maybe it’s just a film that wants us to believe that 95 per cent of Americans are really, really dumb, and the other five per cent know how to exploit this fact.

 So it doesn’t have anything original to say, and it goes well past gratuitous at some points, but it’s slickly made – the storytelling is spare and rhythmical and it gets on with it, the performances good in underwritten roles, particularly Pat Healy. If you see it, you might have trouble relaxing through another episode of the rather funny Don’t Trust The B•••• In Apartment 23, because you’ll associate Dreama Walker (the relentlessly perky blonde one) with trauma. 

I’m still not sure about this one – it kept me totally focussed for the entire running time, but I still think it doesn’t stand up.

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