Wednesday, 2 October 2013

15 Second Review: Compliance (2012)

Not knowing anything about Compliance prior to placing it in my DVD player, I ignored the slogan 'inspired by true events' when it appeared onscreen. Having seen dozens of "based on true events" torture porn films, I expect such claims to be liberal at best. When a further caption mentioned the Milgram experiments, I presumed that the fast-food setting restaurant was a  way of narrativising Milgram's proposals. 15 minutes in, I was ready to turn the film off. The events are completely ludicrous. Having experienced prank calls in the workplace and cut them off virtually immediately, my partner was especially incredulous about the characters' actions. At around 20 minutes, I began reading about the film. As far as I can ascertain, the most ridiculous aspects of the narrative actually occurred. From that point onwards I watched the plot unfold, mouth agape at how  - Milgram or not - these events could have possibly occurred. Compliance is a terrifying reminder that the worst horrors imaginable are not just rooted in willingness to inflict cruelty, but in human fallibility and the failure to protect others from suffering and exploitation.         

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