FIN FEST REVIEW: Compulsus a shocking, sublime #MeToo exploration


Filmmaker Tara Thorne is an artist with such a distinct voice it’s almost impossible not to sit up and listen.

A lover of all things film, theatre, and culture, she’s been an authority for all things entertainment in Nova Scotia for years. Now, with her debut film, we have the chance to champion her right back. And Compulsus is definitely going to get people talking.

Make no mistake, Compulsus is a film worth shouting about from the rooftops, and should be required viewing. It’s just that affecting.

It’s a queer drama that follows a woman who has just had enough. Watching what men get away with in our society has left Wally disillusioned and angry. Instead of internalizing, she does something about it.

We watch our protagonist stalk the night, taking matters into her own hands with men who have made life unsafe for those around her. She does so vigilante-style, and it’s awe-striking.

She continues her violent crusade, unbeknownst to those around her. But her friends soon question the morality of what this nameless, late-night justice warrior is doing, leaving difficult questions accompanying Wally’s actions.

Lesley Smith is absolutely incredible, and she’s joined by a wonderful cast that includes Kathryn McCormack, Koumbie, Kathleen Dorian, and Hilary Adams. These women – with an incredible director – pull together to create a fantastic, thoughtful piece.

It’s worth noting that James MacLean, local actor and the best photographer in the city, walks the streets hooded and mostly with his face covered, playing various bad men. It was quite a trip to see someone as amiable as MacLean perform as some truly awful people.

Tara Thorne has distinguished herself as a filmmaker to watch intently, and if Compulsus is any signal, she’s got one hell of a film career coming.

4/5 Stars


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