Last Night’s TV – Compulsion

compulsion itv

Last night’s ITV offering ‘Compulsion’ would have been more aptly titled ‘Repulsion’ as the utterly unbelievable and frankly farcical adaptation of the Jacobean play ‘The Changeling’ revealed itself to be not only completely lacking in credibility but also made us suffer the hideous lack of on-screen chemistry between Ray Winstone and Parminder Nagra.

This is perhaps what disappointed me most; both are wonderful actors and I expected something far better, however, the acting couldn’t have been more wooden if Pinocchio and/or Punch and Judy were in the cast list…

ray-winstone-and-parminder-nagra

The premise was that beautiful Anjika, played by Nagra, was to be forced into an arranged marriage to a man she hates – while having a boyfriend she loves – but her chauffeur, Flowers, played by Winstone, offers to “deal with” the problem of her unwanted upcoming nuptials, but only on the condition that she has sex with him…

Ok, fair enough, possible I suppose but what wasn’t ok was how her revulsion for Flowers turned into “wanting” him so much she actually uttered the line, “I need you inside me.” Oh spew! And not only was there a total dearth of chemistry between the pair, their lines were more befitting a film entitled ‘I’ve Cum To Fix Your Plumbing.’ Jacobean it may have been originally but the theme can still be found in most porn films; to wit, beautiful young girl gets coerced into sex with grotty older man but then finds she just can’t get enough of him… oh puhlease! I suppose we should think ourselves lucky that the majority of Parminder’s lines weren’t, “Oh yah! Oh yah!” Mind you, a really lot of them were.

And the more time Flowers spent slapping his not inconsiderable beer belly against Anjika’s perfectly formed one while he “satisfied” her, the more the supposedly loved boyfriend got left out of the rather revolting picture and the more of an imperative it became to “deal with” the potential husband. However, bish bash bosh, it was all fixed by snapping potential hubby’s neck and burying him in the woods, leaving time enough for yet more bonking.

Long and exceptionally stupid story short, she ends up deciding that boyfriend Alex is who she really wants, so, luring Flowers into her bedroom and underwear by uttering the yet again abysmal line “I’m stressed, you know what to do about that don’t you” or words to that effect. So there he is, all but ramming the top of her head into the headboard – while she ‘groans pleasurably’ – as she pulls out a knife. However, Flowers spots it and realises that she intends to kill him. Top notch detective work there Flowers…

Anyway, when he enquires as to the purpose of the sharp implement in her hand, she readily admits that the plan was to kill him off because he’s a fat, ugly pig of an old man and she loves Alex…

And she woulda got away with it too if weren’t for his pesky eyesight but in a nutshell, she’d planned to kill him and tell Alex he’d raped her.

After a tedious few moments and more silly dialogue, Flowers pounces and where Anjika previously happily played ‘ride the chauffeur’s purple limo’, this time, she squealed “No, I don’t want this!” and writhed around before Flowers grabbed the knife in his own hand, and managed to wrap hers around it too, before plunging it into his aforementioned beer belly, thereby both killing himself and being murdered, all at the same time!

Anjika then called the police, cried rape and said she’d killed the rapist…

Thankfully, the closing scenes soon followed in which we saw her marrying Alex – who was the only remotely credible person in the entire thing, so well done Ben Aldridge – and driving off into the sunset with nobody any the wiser that she’s a soft porn psycho…

It was hideous, just plain hideous and how these two brilliant actors were talked into these roles is beyond me. I can only assume they were either desperate for money or thought there was going to be something kudos-gatheringly ‘classic’ about it, it being based on something Jacobean and all… but how wrong they were.

The very best bit was when the end credits rolled and I could finally put down my sick bowl and stop trying to suspend my disbelief which frankly, would’ve needed an actual hanging – noose, hood and all – to suspend enough to buy into this pile of see-wrap.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.