In this amazing Netflix special, Derren Brown uses techniques of persuasion and compliance to manipulate normal, ordinary good people into committing murder.
The special focuses on Chris, who applied to participate in Derren's show, and was told that he was not accepted so he would not suspect anything. Some time after that, Chris is invited to participate in the organization of a big charity auction event supported by numerous celebrities. The event is actually staged just for Chris, and everyone there is just an actor playing a role.
From the moment he arrives to the venue, Chris is given small tasks which are actually clever manipulation techniques aiming to increase his obedience and compliance to authority. But as time passes, the severity and the immorality of these demands increase. Soon, one of the key sponsors of the event has a heart attack and dies. Chis is told not to call anyone, hide the body and pretend to be the person who just died. He is then told to place the body under the stairs and kick it to make it look as if the dead person fell down the stairs. But it turns out that the man is not actually dead and just suffers from a strange condition which put him into a dead-like state. He remembers everything and threatens to put Chris in jail for what he's done.
The others involved in the situation agree that the only way for Chris to solve this problem is to murder the man by pushing him off the roof. Chis declines, but it is revealed that there were actually four subjects like Chris, and all the other three did push the man off the roof, trying to murder him. Chris was the only one strong enough to resist the power of authoritative people telling him to kill someone!
Was this real or fake? Were three people really manipulated into trying to commit murder? As you might guess, the truth is a bit more complicated then Derren would like us to believe.
The main illusion created by The Push is that the participants have no idea that they are participating in an event staged by Derren. Until they see Derren coming out of the elevator to inform them that none of what happened was real, they 100% believe the actors and never even suspect that they could be a »victim« of Derren's trick. This is simply false.
Put yourself into the shoes of one of the participants. You know that you applied for Derren's show. You also know that Derren always tells the applicants that they were not selected, so that he can surprise them later (Derren did this in many of his previous shows). So when a bunch of weird stuff starts happening all around you, don't you think you would at least suspect that it is actually all a performance organized by Derren?
At one point, they show recordings of multiple celebrities »supporting« the charity event. As Derren says himself, most of these celebrities appeared on Derren's shows. The participants also know this. Don't you think they will get a little bit suspicious?
So this is the obvious truth behind The Push: at some point, the participants realize that they are probably a part of Derren's show. As they are not absolutely sure, and also don't want to ruin the show, they play along without worrying too much about the consequences.