Saturday, February 16, 2013

Compliance: The Most Contraversial Film of this New Decade

Dreama Walker reduced to sitting naked in the backroom with nothing but an apron to cover herself up with, not even knowing how much worse it's about to get for her.

If you thought the torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty (2012) were rough to swallow, once you turn on compliance make sure you have an air sickness bag nearby. Here are a few reasons why, and they may be double standards, but those exist for a reason too. 1, the torture occurring in this dark indie sleeper hit are occurring in your very own back yard and not in a black sight somewhere not on a map in the middle east. 2. They are occurring to a woman, basically a girl barely out of her teens rather than some nameless affiliate of the Taliban. Here's the plot and I'll try to avoid spoiler alerts when I can. 
In the beginning of the film Becky (Dreama Walker) was just another 19 year old girl working a part time job at a fast food restaurant.

based on more actual occurrences we would like to admit, the film takes place mostly in a low-level fast food restaurant where a mysterious caller phones in telling the easily manipulated manager that he's with the police and a woman who matches the description for a young thin blonde, which of course could be anybody was caught on surveillance stealing money from a customer. She is then subjected to increasingly degrading and dehumanizing tasks, most of which involve forced sexual activity on another. After the mysterious caller is realized to be a prankster, basically the manager who has forced this poor employee to such horrors is beside herself and can't ever recover for how she was manipulated into doing something like that to an innocent person.
Anne Dowd, the Fast food restaurant manager being asked not only to perform a strip search without a supervising witness but to comply with things much worse.

his film cuts immediately to the bone. It tugs at our most vulnerable heart strings, as do most things when we see innocent people punished and dehumanized in such cruel ways, and what's more difficult to believe is that this happens basically all the time all over rural America where people don't even think twice to ask proof of law enforcement such as a badge or a search and seizure warrant. It's cinema verite style makes it even more difficult to take in, but that much more relevant and important. Not only is Dreama Walker brilliant as the innocent victim in all of this, but the star is Anne Dowd, who is actually perhaps the bigger victim as she gets blindly conned into subjecting one of her employees to such horrors. This is a vital film for everyone to see, not only because of the daring exposé on something that has been rather glamorized in our culture, case and point 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. Sometimes it's good to take a deep breath and look at the darker side of sadomasochism, and this is just the film to do that. 

Trailer below: 

No comments: