Disorder (2016) – Film Review

Not sure what this film was attempting to do


Disorder was shown as part of the Screen Unseen season hosted by Odeon Cinemas.  It’s taken some time to arrive in the UK having had its world premiere at Cannes in 2015.  The film is directed by Alice Winocour who also co-writes the script and stars Matthias Schoenaerts as a French soldier (Vincent) back from Afghanistan who is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  He is making some extra money on the side providing private security for a Lebanese business man and his family.  When Mr Businessman goes away on a trip Vincent has his hands full as the wife Jessie (Diane Kruger) and son Ali (Zaïd Errougui-Demonsant) are targeted by masked men.

This film is a mystery to me.  This paragraph is normally the one in which I talk about themes and messages portrayed in films and as far as I can tell this doesn’t have any.  Yes Vincent has PTSD but there’s no back story or journey of recovery.  The plot is pretty thin and unremarkable with my synopsis telling you everything that happens in the film.  So in summary little plot and no character development.  The result is that a film that just about tops 90 minutes feels more like 180 minutes (I exaggerate for affect but I got a shock when I saw the clock in my car).  I’m hesitant to use stereotypes but it feels typically French (yes it is subtitled so live with it) to have so little happening so slowly backed by outbursts of dance music after prolonged periods of silence.  I’m sure it meant something to the director but you need to let the audience in on the secret.

In my defence I desperately searched for meaning.  Vincent seems to make a instant connection with the family dog called Ghost.  So I started to ask myself if this was meant to mean something?  Is Vincent a ghost of himself?  Is the relationship with the dog symbolic of his inability to form a relationship with other people.  Darn it!  What are you trying to tell me?  The problem when a film loses you is that other little things start to bother you,   the main one being why is Jessie talking in an American accent when speaking English when her character states at one point that she is German?

I don’t think this film is going to achieve a wide release but if international cinema is your thing then I believe the release date is March 25th.  Please be warned though that the film fails to explain large sections of the background to the plot and doesn’t make up for it with interesting characters doing interesting things.  My rating 2/5.


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