Ryan Davey’s ‘Compulsion’ deals with a very important yet omnipresent problem our generation encounters: depression. Even though it may not seem at first, this issue is deeply featured in this short film. It is not explained as in a documentary film, but rather the issue is hidden deep down in the bones of it, being visible only after you as a viewer get a panoramic view over the story and think it through a little.
Felix is stuck in a dead-end job, with a soon to be failed relationship, and the only peace he gets resides between the four walls of the manager’s bathroom, where he finds comfort in a Japanese multi-functional toilet that seems to be the answer to all of his questions. He begins to be uncommonly intimate with this device, and even perceive it as a very good therapist. But one day he sees his boss using the bathroom and the situation gets messy.
Felix is played by the young and extremely talented actor, Josh Kieser. We remember him from ‘Papercut’, and we were thrilled to see him again in such a different character. We think it’s fair to say that after only two really good roles, Kieser is by far our favorite young actor, a brilliant kid with a HUGE talent. To be completely honest, the plot of this short is a little bit too ridiculous, and one may not take it for granted when it comes to raising awareness on anxiety and depression, but there is one element that really keeps Ryan Davey's project on track, and that is Josh Kieser. When Felix is kneeling in front of the toilet bowl (a scene that is somehow dramatic, but when you put it in words it sounds more like a bad pun), the way Kieser deals with that anxiety rush really brings chills down the spine of the viewer.
'Compulsion’ is a deep and sad movie that has this bright mask of comedy; if you pay close attention to the meaning of it and extrapolate it for your own learning, you will not only see the deep sadness that may reside in your soul, but also a way to mask it in the same way Felix did.
Written by Vlad A. G