Disorder: Review

Director: Alice WinocourStarring: Diane Kruger, Matthias Schoenaerts, Paul HamyRelease Date: March 25thThe film Disorder posits itself as a home invasion thriller but any viewers expecting ninety minutes of suspense will be disappointed. That’s not to say that Disorder isn’t suspenseful; it’s just that its focus is on something other than a lone hero facing off against kidnappers. The film follows Vincent (Matthias Schoenaerts), a PTSD afflicted ex-soldier hired to protect Jessie (Diane Kruger), the wife of a secretive Lebanese arms dealer. Vincent struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder as well as his connections to others.Alice Winocour’s direction is smooth throughout the film, alternating between crackling build-up, brutal bursts of violence and sublime slo-mo. Special note must be made of the robust and overt sound design as Vincent experiences hallucinations throughout Disorder ranging from birdsong, to children playing to helicopter rotors. The film’s score, composed by French producer Gesaffelstein, is a nerve-shredding, synth-driven attack on the ears that perfectly captures the nature of Vincent’s condition. Some of the cinematography is done through CCTV cameras leaving the viewer searching the frame for signs of intrusion within the empty, baroque rooms of the mansion. Without the anchor of Schoenaerts however there is little to focus on.Matthias Schoenaerts is a broody, hulking presence throughout the film often left without an excuse to vent his pent-up frustration on. It is only in the film’s explosions of bone-crunching action that the viewer sees the animal inside the brutish bodyguard. Diane Kruger is his polar opposite, playing a bored, stressed housewife with little to lose but her young son Ali. She lives in fear of the men seeking to kidnap her and of Vincent whose unpredictability scares her. Both actors employ a great deal of subtlety in different ways. Disorder is an examination of PTSD and the effect it has on its sufferers and those around them.In A Nutshell: Disorder’s brand of action cinema acknowledges many of the problems PTSD sufferers go through as well as pointing out the lack of a space for them in today’s modern world.