DISORDER aka Maryland (France – 2015)

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for Cinetalk.net

2015 was a pretty busy year for French director Alice winocour. Associated, as screenwriter, with Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Foreign Language Oscar nominee Mustang, her second feature as a director, Disorder , made its way unto the  Un Certain Regard selection at the Cannes Film Festival.

Disorder follows Vincent, a retired soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He is hired to protect the wife and child of a wealthy businessman. Vincent perceives constant threats. Is he right or is it the result of his trauma?

Disorder is routine material. The action scenes work, but the inefficient and anti-build up leading to it is a total bore. We see things coming way ahead but have to wait for it. Waiting is never a problem if there is good dialogues. But there is none. You feel like shouting: Hey climax, I’m here! But it’s too far away to hear you. The traumatic moments (yes there is some) never seem to have a strong impact on the characters from one scene to another. As simplistic as the whole thing is, it just doesn’t work. The writing is lazy as you can be.

Vincent is played by Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts, who’s been around for a while and  made it big in the 2010’s.  He played the lead in the academy award nominated Rundskop and in Jacques Audiard’s De rouille et d’os (Rust and bones – 2012). Sadly, he seems already typecast as the brute grunting around trying to make something out of the one and a half page screenplay. And Diane Kruger play is wooden. She never seems to fully relate to her son being in danger. She would get more options to move us by playing a ping pong table in a Pixar movie.

The only great thing about Disorder comes from the people who did the music score. They used the pseudonym Gessafelstein which is a good idea since they should go into hiding for destroying the Art of film music in such vulgar manners.

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