Here we have a little movie called Compliance, which came out last year and was screened in various film festivals, gaining buzz for Ann Dowd's performance as a fast food restaurant manager. Being what it is, a movie whose empathy and interest relies on the subject, it's perfectly understandable that controversy appeared near the reception. I would say that, yes, it was pretty unbelievable, but those characters were cunningly written and played by a nice group of actors with spontaneous passion.
The plot is simple, is less important than the characters. We have to wait patiently for the information to come. But watching the film again today I paid attention to the visual storytelling and its strange calm. I say strange calm because there is so much tension in the story, focusing on one day of work, that a baroque composition of visual elements could have damaged the fresh spirit that director Craig Zobel and cinematographer Adam Stone deliver. It's funny how the audience can feel idiotic sometimes, but the characters themselves are idiotic no matter what.
The camera walks, dances, moves around those poor teenagers, full of empty dreams and wrong ideas, whose leader is as ignorant as them. My choice for the best shot in Compliance is wild, but it shocked me and felt extreme. The suggestion of the thin body and the presence of the man make the white trash society a creepy place to live. Such minimalism is enough for the audience, because the image comes in a point of the story where you don't want the most frightening thing to happen. It's a moral movie with shots not so empty but hard to handle.