“Inspired by true events” is the one thing you have to consider while watching this movie with every twist and turn making it harder to seem plausible.
Compliance, is film that resonates with you long after you finished watching it. The story is based on a real phone call to a McDonalds in Kentucky 2004 and as the story spirals out of control you do find yourself asking time and time again ‘how could this happen’. Directed by Craig Zobel it was a huge hit at both the London Film Festival and Sundance last year.
It seems like an ordinary day in ChickWich with the diligent manager Sandra (Ann Dowd) ensuring this mundane 9 to 5 in a fast food restaurant is as soul destroying as possible, worrying about the lack of bacon amongst other things with teenage employees Becky (Dreama Walker) and Kevin (Philip Ettinger) attempting to find humour in the little things. It all seems like a normal, clock watching day until they receive a call from ‘Office Daniels’.
It starts off with Office Daniels politely asking, “I’m gonna’ need you do to me a favour” gradually explaining to Sandra that Becky, or someone matching her exact description at that outlet, has stolen money and the best course of action is that Becky should stay in the back room instead of being arrested and taken in to the police station.
Things start to spiral out of control as Sandra is soon “acting like a real police office” as Daniels says as she keeps Becky away from the rest of the employees who are soon convinced she is a criminal too. It seems to reach a climax when Sandra who is constantly being called back to work asks her husband Van (Bill Camp) to watch Becky and a series of escalating and outrageous situations with Becky take place with nobody asking any questions.
The film is cut perfectly between whats going on in the backroom of the ChickWich, the everday running of the fast food chain, and the man pretending to be Officer Daniels going about his normal day while instigating a horrific situation miles away. The score works perfectly with the tone of the film to slowly build tension until what you think should be breaking point then Zobel will cut away to left overs on a tray or empty cups thrown away outside to help break up the film.
Compliance is one to check out if you want something a bit different from your everyday Thriller, its shocking and incredibly difficult to watch at some points as however far it goes you’re constantly left asking yourself, what would I do?