10 June 2013


Compliance is certainly not a film for all the family. This indie flick will shock you, make you uncomfortable, force you to look away and after viewing such a film the harsh reality will dawn on you - yes, this is based on true events. These horrific events are reconstructed by Craig Zobel, a fairly un-known director taking what I think is quite a risk with a such a subject matter. So have you ever heard of the strip search prank call scam? No? Well nor had I until I took a seat in the very quaint Covent Garden Odeon. Take it from me, I'm glad I didn't know this sort of thing happened before I sat down. Okay, so we are in a fast food joint in Kentucky and the manager (Sandra) is having a bad afternoon, then she receives a phone call from Officer Daniels and boy does her day just get better and better. Daniels claims to have evidence that one of her employees has stolen from a customer and that she needs to be questioned about the missing money - little did Sandra know that she would be conducting the investigation herself against Becky (the accused) due to the officer persuading her to conduct the strip search there would save time and be a great help for the police force. I am pretty confident that if someone asked me to perform a strip search on someone I would out right refuse (slam the phone down), however statistically it shows that a lot of people fell for this scam. There were over 70 cases reported in 30 U.S. states, all in fast - food restaurants until 2004 in Mount Washington Kentucky (inspiring this plot) led to an arrest. After I finished watching this horrific event unfold in front of me I had to look up the stats behind it as soon as I got out (good old smart phones!) and I wish I hadn't. So just because a policeman tells you to strip search someone you do it? Just because he says he is a policeman do you make someone do jumping-jacks completely starkers, leave them in a room with only men as the officer informs you it needs to be a man for security reasons and then leave your own partner alone with this naked girl for the officer to completely manipulate into molesting, raping and shaming the accused (and yep, she is innocent) - Sandra does. I know what your thinking - Why didn't she just hang up the phone but the Milgram Experiments (1963) will tell you why. This tested obedience to authority and that IF someone of authority was ordering you to do something, you would do it. Really scary stuff to be honest.

Anyway, this is fantastically awkwardly acted by the likes of Ann Drowd, Dreama Walker and Pat Healy, all bringing aspects to this film that make it horrifying and disturbing albeit I still couldn't look away. If you want to be hypnotised verbally and don't mind watching some pretty controversial stuff then take a look and test yourself. I promise buy the end of it you will be shouting at the screen telling Sandra to put the phone down and tell Officer Daniels to get off his arse and get down their himself to sort it out!! 3 out of 5 I'd say.

Directed by - Craig Zobel
90mins, 15 (2012)

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