Bestiality is by far the first and foremost step towards the degradation of humanity as such. With the gradual loss of innocence come many incredibly ludicrous real-life tales, which not only exhibit the weaknesses of ordinary people, but poke fun at all those who undeniably contribute to the ubiquitous act of lampooning. Undeniably so, Compliance presents an excruciatingly realistic story, one that’s as harrowing, as it is unnerving, but it doesn’t stop at that. It depicts it in such a way that it’s almost unbearable to watch. Given the deeply disturbing and mightily shocking imagery, the film denudes human gullibility and incredible silliness, and those are by far the most delicate terms that should be used in this case.
Compliance plays with the audience, making its purposeful amateurishness disquieting and heavy-handed. Surprisingly, the connotations that those adjectives bring to mind are the film’s spectacular advantages. Its exceptionally raw style and repelling visuals account for an agitating roller-coaster ride that doesn’t promise safety till the very end. The movie leaves the audiences bone-tired, burned out and angered.
There isn’t any sense in writing about the story, because the biggest kick one will get out of watching Compliance is by not reading about it previously. It’s only crucial to note how a seemingly random tale about one of the fast food regulars in the USA turns out to be nothing short of hell for all its workers. The deliberate act of mixing a few burger-fries-grease-related images with the whole storyline is like contradicting the silly innocence of a workplace with the hard-hitting tragedy of a few human beings. Compliance doesn’t offer any alterations to its perversely intimidating substance, and that’s probably the thing that makes the film truly effective. The people feel real, the tragedy seems familiar, the setting is nonsensical yet adequate, the atmosphere is intensifying with every minute. Hopelessness is all that is left, and Compliance surely makes a good use of that.