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Compliance [DVD] 
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Based on over 70 incidents that took place in the USA, Compliance recounts this chilling true story in which the line between obedience and manipulation is hauntingly blurred.
On a particularly busy day at a Ohio fast food joint, high-strung manager Sandra (Ann Dowd - Garden State) receives a phone call from a police officer, informing her that an employee, a pretty young blonde named Becky (Dreama Walker of Gossip Girl & The Good Wife) has stolen money from a customer.
Convinced she's only doing what's right, Sandra commences the investigation, following instructions from the officer at the other end of the line, no matter how invasive they become. As we watch, we ask ourselves two questions: “Why don’t they just say no?” and the more troubling, "Am I certain I wouldn't do the same?"
The cast delivers startlingly authentic performances that make the appalling events unfolding onscreen all the more difficult to watch – but impossible to turn away from.
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Top Customer Reviews
The themes of subservience to authority, exploitation, misplaced loyalty, consumerist alienation and the fallibility of human nature that the film explores embodied in films such as The Secretary, In The Company Of Men, Phone Booth, Supersize Me and Fast Food Nation, are brilliantly directed and acted.
The premise of the film appears on the surface to be unbelievable, except the film is closely linked to a series of real life events that mirrored those of a deranged sociopath.
Compliance is an extremely powerful and insightful film that works on a number of levels. At it's heart, it is a very subtle and carefully balance portrait of how good people can be manipulated into doing utterly unspeakable things.
a phone call seemingly from a Police Officer who claims that he is
investigating a claim from a customer of the fast food outlet that
'Becky' had stolen money from her purse.
her nightmare begins....
this a true account of actual events.....
what beggars belief is that the 'weirdo' on the other end of the phone
was actually given the time of day at all...
as his demands become more extreme and bizarre ......the phone should
have been placed or slammed back on the reliever......it's also quite
unbelievable that the victim succumbed to the demands.
all I can say is there are truly some strange people around, someone
getting a kick out of persuading people to follow such instruction of
this nature, also one would have to question how a string of people
can be taken in ?
has to be seen to be believed.
I would anticipate that many who watch this film will wonder how someone impersonating a police officer could pursuade so many people (including the victim herself) to follow his every instruction, however outrageous, invasive and obviously ridiculous it might seem. Personally, I frequently found myself often shaking my head in disbelief that people of even limited intelligence would allow themselves to be duped so badly, to the point of taking away another person's liberty and dignity (amongst other things).
But clearly the fact that it is all so unbelievable is the point of the movie. If in fact things like this have happened in real life, as the director claims in the extras accompanying the Blu-ray version and as news reports suggest, the fact that these things are so utterly unbelievable only goes to show what we as people are capable of. I am not sure how much of what the movie shows happened in the actual cases on which it is based and how much of it was embellished or made up for dramatic effect. However, I suppose if many of us will administer what we believe are lethal doses of electricity to test subjects because someone posing as a scientist tells us to, we will do pretty much anything.
A busy shift at an Ohio fast-food restaurant sees borderline neurotic manager Sandra receive an unexpected phone call purporting to be from a police officer investigating a charge of theft against one of the restaurant's employees. Over the phone, the officer proceeds to manipulate Sandra, her boyfriend Evan, and the unwitting victim, into a series of degrading and invasive acts, culminating in what is effectively a sexual assault.
The film makes for seriously uncomfortable viewing, and the director keeps the tension up excruciatingly throughout. The post-script highlights a blurring between victim and perpetrators, whilst the phony policeman is revealed to have pulled off the same trick on several other occasions. What we're left with is the realisation that authority can be a powerful exploitative tool, and that but for the grace of God there go any of us.
Purely from a cinematic perspective Zobel's film is impressive. Adam Stone's cinematography conveys the fast-food store's sense of claustrophobia, as well as highlighting the film's 'moral dilemma' by cutting to the mundanity of daily operations as Dreama Walker's Becky suffers during her ordeal. Similarly, Heather McIntosh's sparse and atmospheric soundtrack exacerbates the unsettling nature of proceedings. Acting-wise, Zobel's cast are uniformly excellent. Ann Dowd is particularly good as the officious, duped restaurant manager, Sandra; Walker delivers a powerful turn as the initially dumbfounded, but eventually numbed, victim, whilst both Bill Camp and Pat Healy are both impressive as, respectively, the drunken (eventually regretful) exploiter, Van, and the coercive, but frighteningly convincing, 'prankster', 'Officer Daniels'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A thought provoking film which serves to demonstrate the that fact is often stranger than fiction.Published 1 month ago by Stephen Ridley
A lazily executed look into the psyche of American junior management at it's most stupid. Frighteningly for conscientious teens with weekend jobs in burger joints, this tale is... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mrs B-C
If the real life people portrayed in this film were as stupid as indicated (with the exception of the one guy that said no) they all need to die. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Paul
Only that this story is true (and apparently repeated 70 or so times!) is it possible not to condemn it as gratuitous, prurient and just plain silly - which only goes to show just... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mr. Charles R. Day
This movie is utterly ridiculous. I know it's based on a true story - I don't care, all I can say is that some people are excruciatingly stupid. Read morePublished 5 months ago by TogekissWings
If this film wasn't based on a real life crime you wouldn't believe its premis . Hard to watch in fact I recommend you dont !Published 7 months ago by steven reeves
I knew that this film was based on true events and I didn't want to think of myself as a voyeur for watching it and I went into it with no pre-set thoughts about it, I hoped to see... Read morePublished 12 months ago by P. WILLIAMS