Compliance (2013)

‘Compliance’, otherwise known as the showcase of human stupidity and gullibility. The fact that this film is based on a single specific event that occurred in 2003 and was one of over 70 similar events that happened throughout America is mind boggling to me. Don’t worry, i won’t ruin the twist of the film, because while it is based on a true story, the twist is excellent, or at least the real-life version is.

Firstly, let me say that the film is beautiful, it is shot inventively and with some interesting long shots and some beautiful cinematography and the editing is tight with not a single shot being wasted. All this just added immensely to the enjoyment of the film as well as allow it to stand out from other low budget indie films.

The acting is also very good, the stand outs being Sandra, played by Ann Dowd and Beck who is played by Dreama Walker. The fact that despite the dialogue their characters still resonate with you and you still fully empathise with them is a testament to the cast.

Speaking of the dialogue, it is by far the weakest part of the film, the way characters interact with each other and the way a certain police officer speaks is beyond bad, bordering on awful. It felt so disingenuous and was a stark contrast to the natural feel the other aspects of the film had. Every other aspect of the film be it the directing, acting or even the colour palette felt natural and real and it was impressively immersive until the characters started speaking.

However, more power to the actors as they delivered their lousy lines brilliantly and most of them managed to cover up how horrendous the dialogue was at times, Officer Daniels, whom the entire film pivots on, unfortunately was not able to believably deliver his lines and the film suffered immensely for that.

The dialogue is not the only problem the film had, the film did seem to overstay its welcome as it just kept dragging on and on. I appreciate that the film is based on a real story however I feel that the event would have been more suited as a short film as the film progressed the dialogue got weaker and weaker and while the performances were solid and the film looked beautiful it just became tiresome and a chore to watch especially when faced with the fact that this was a real event and some people are genuinely this stupid.

If you choose to watch this film, then you should keep a note in the back of your mind to remember at which point you would have said “No” and put the phone down. Then, check how much longer the film has left, you will be surprised and possibly saddened.


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