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Review Compulsion (2013): Lonely people trying to connect in a twisted way plus a lot of food porn!

genre: drama, thriller




Compulsion is a remake of  301/302 which is a 1995 South Korean film directed by Park Chul-soo. I wasn't aware of this until I read about this online after having watched this. Will have to track that one down to do a comparison one day. Chances are though that not many people will know about this film or the ones who have seen it won't appreciate it as much as they should. 

If you have seen the trailer then it will make it appear you are in for a thriller like Single White Female. However it is nothing like that. Compulsion introduces us to two lonely people that both have their issues. Amy an obsessive chef who is not aware that she is a and actress Saffron who has several kinds of problems like being anorexic and not wanting to socialize with any one. This film is an exploration of these women and how they find a connection. We will get to see plenty of how disturbed the two characters are and it does make you wonder why they are like they are. In case of Saffron this gets explained and has our sympathy from that point unlike previous where she was just too odd and distant. Amy seems only to be able to express her love with her cooking and food. At the point when you realize this she also has our sympathy. I thought that both Carrie-Anne Moss and Heather Graham were on top of their game as they were able to subtly show us a range of emotions and their deep rooted issues they are suffering from. I think this is one of the first films where I have seen Heather Graham acting like this and I hope we will see more from her since it was refreshing to see her do something so different from the roles she has been playing prior. 

(One note about Heather's appearance in the film. It's my guess that they were trying to mimic the effects of her eating her own food and that they used some padding to make her look a little chubbier in the belly and rear area. The reason I mention this because it looks very weird and fake. And might start off people speculating that something is wrong with her figure. Don't. There is nothing wrong with her. Here a quote from IMDB trivia:  "Heather Graham gained over 10 pounds and wore foam padding underneath her dresses and clothing throughout the film to give her a slightly overweight appearance due to her character's obsession with cooking and eating. As a result, she is never seen fully undressed, especially during her lovemaking scenes." As you can see it's a flawed attempt of make believe.)

While Compulsion is far from a masterpiece and unlikely to dazzle you it's a very entertaining film throughout. It never is boring and manages to make you feel for characters that at first seem very unlikable. In the end it is a movie about people finding a deep connection in a twisted way. Some events are not shown to us and leaves room for many interpretations. Although if you have been paying attention the outcome is very obvious. 

Special note: The way the food was presented in this film made me hungry. It looked very delicious. A must for food porn lovers!




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