One of the most controversial and fascinating films of 2012, Compliance tells the story of a woman who is subjected to all manner of abuse after a man posing as a police officer calls her workplace (a fast food restaurant) and accuses her of theft. Guaranteed to elicit strong reactions, the film tends to leave viewers in one of two mindsets: (1) frustrated by the characters’ consistently idiotic decisions or (2) fascinated by the film’s astute distillation of authority-based dehumanization in all its forms (the military comes to mind). “Inspired by true events” doesn’t justify all of writer-director Criag Zobel’s decisions, but it’s a necessary reminder that, for all the film’s shocking absurdity, it dramatizes real world systems of submissiveness, complacency, and reckless consent.
The only extra on the Canadian DVD from eOne is a two-minute Meet the Artist Featurette. The American Blu-ray offers a few more extras, but they add up to a mere 18 minutes. Releasing this thought provoking, argument-inducing film with virtually no extras is a missed opportunity, but the film itself is essential viewing, certain to generate a strong response in just about anyone who gives it their time. Watch it with someone you like to argue with.