Compliance is a 2012 American drama film written and directed by Craig Zobel. The plot focuses on a prank caller who pretends to be a police officer and convinces the manager of a fast-food restaurant that one of her employees committed a crime. The film is based on the true story of the Louise Ogborn case from 2004.
Sandra (Ann Dowd), a manager of a fast-food restaurant in the ChickWich chain, receives a phone call from a prank caller referring to himself as officer Daniels (Pat Healy). Claiming to have spoken with the regional manager, he states that the police received a complaint that an employee of the restaurant had stolen money from a customer’s purse that day. Daniels explains that he is preoccupied with the search of the suspected thief’s home and that Sandra would have to detain and question the staff member about the theft. With Daniels on the phone, Sandra agrees to help and summons Becky (Dreama Walker), who fits the caller’s description of the perpetrator.
Becky denies committing any theft, but complies with Sandra and Daniels when she is escorted into an office in the rear of the restaurant. The caller asks a series of questions and instructs Sandra to search Becky's pockets and purse for the stolen cash. When the money is not found, Daniels then orders Sandra to conduct a strip search, claiming that the alternative would be to jail Becky whilst the larger investigation at Becky's home is being undertaken. When Becky is alone, the caller implies that her brother could also face separate charges if Becky does not comply calmly with the strip search. After she has stripped, the humiliated Becky is covered only by an apron. Daniels tells Sandra to put the clothing into a bag and take it to her car for later inspection by the police. He initially claims that clothes can sometimes have imperceptible pockets, but when Sandra is perplexed by his order, he states that the larger investigation involves possession of marijuana, and that the clothing may contain faint traces of it which would aid the case.
Sandra explains to Daniels that she must resume managing the restaurant during the busy work day, and the caller instructs her to leave Becky under the watch of a male employee for “security reasons”. Sandra enlists Kevin (Philip Ettinger) for the task, but he protests the caller's orders to inspect Becky and refuses to be involved. Eventually Sandra brings in her fiancé Van (Bill Camp) to watch over Becky. Through Daniels' demands, Becky is ordered to remove the apron and perform jumping jacks nude for Van, under the pretense that contraband may be concealed in her body. When Sandra briefly visits the room, Becky attempts to plead with her about the ordeal; as punishment for this "disobedient" plea, the caller orders Becky to subject to a spanking by Van and to perform oral sex on him. After Van leaves with guilt, Daniels asks for another male to take his place. The custodian Harold is called in and is outraged by the caller's orders. When Harold tells Sandra the caller's intentions, she phones the regional manager and realizes that Daniels' call is a scam.
The police eventually arrives and escorts Becky out as well as investigating for evidence. A detective from another location eventually arrests the caller from his office after similar incidents were reported from the same man, who is revealed to be a telemarketer and a family man. Becky wants to file a civil suit against Sandra, but her lawyer suggests an option to sue the national corporation of ChickWich. Sandra, who is now unemployed, ends her engagement with Van after the incident and is later interviewed by a journalist on the incident, but does not answer some questions because her lawyer is present. The film ends with a message stating over 70 similar incidents occurred in 30 U.S. States.
The spanking scene
Becky, naked, humiliated and in a state of emotional devastation and submission, is made by Daniels to agree that she was disobedient and deserves to be punished for it. Daniels then tells Van "You need to spank her. Can you do that?" Van, after a pause, replies "Yes... I can do that." Daniel then requests that the spanking be "hard and long", and that the telephone receiver be placed close so he can hear it well. Van then tells Becky to bend over his lap and spanks her OTK (M/F) with the phone held on Becky's back.
The spanking itself is portrayed in a detached, non-exploitive manner: we only hear the sound of the hand-smacks while the camera stays on the faces of the manager and the girl. (However, this review is based on the edited theater trailer, not the actual film.)
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