So far 2016 hasn’t been a great year for me and my foreign film viewing. I missed the Icelandic drama ‘Rams’ a few weeks ago which got great reviews and I was very disappointed with ‘The Assassin’ which I did see at the end of January. So could French film ‘Disorder’ set me back on track in terms of my world cinema viewing?
Already his third film this year, after ‘The Danish Girl’ & ‘A Bigger Splash’, Matthias Schoenaerts is really racking up the acting credits, especially after his busy last couple of years. He’s a good actor and usually picks his films quite well. Here he plays Vincent, an ex-soldier who is suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). His character is quite physical and of course Schoenaerts is always convincing in this manner however his role requires more than just the physicality. Struggling with this disorder Vincent often hallucinates, has trouble hearing and has flashbacks and Schoenaerts is able to portray his struggles well and believably. Alongside him the film stars Diane Kruger who is probably best known for her role in ‘Inglourious Basterds’. She has the second biggest role here but it’s still not that big, she is good as her character, Jessie, but the role doesn’t really stretch her much as an actress and I doubt she’ll be remembered for this. The real star of this film is the tension. I really liked how the film played around with this aspect, certain decisions really benefit the film in the long run and I’m glad they were made. The finale is one of the most tense sequences I can remember in recent cinema history, you’d be forgive for thinking Denis Villeneuve was the director here. Contributing wonderfully to the tension was the sound, something that more and more film makers are devoting time, attention and funds towards these days, simply because it can add so much to the atmosphere. Disorder is a fantastic example of this.
The film does has a striking resemblance to ‘Drive’. This can be seen in the set up, the characters and the soundtrack. It never reaches the quality that ‘Drive’ has but in certain isolated moments it comes quite close. What sets it apart from Nicolas Winding Refn’s movie is that it unfortunately has several flaws. It has to be said that the film is pretty slow in places, especially so after the initial introductions to characters and plot are complete. Personally I think this slower pace pays off in the end but I’ll admit that as I was watching it without this knowledge I wasn’t having a great time. The film does lack a little meat to its story too, it’s very simple but for this to be entertaining there needed to be something else on offer. Some will find the tension enough else to satisfy them but others will want much more and I would worry about the potential for re-watches here. Although, who says a film has to be re-watchable?
‘Disorder’ was a good experience and I enjoyed watching it, I was satisfied by the end of the movie and personally the issues I had with the first half of the film are rectified by the second. Both of the main performers do a good job but as already stated it’s the tension that steals the show, making ‘Disorder’ a very uncomfortable watch at times, but in the best way possible. With it’s futuristic, techno score, and fantastic use of sound there was the potential for this to be a really great movie. If only a little more had been given to the audience in terms of narrative then the film really could have elevated itself, becoming something much greater.
Rating – 7/10
Question: Which films use of sound impresses you the most?
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