Disconnect – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

disconnectDisconnect – 3.5/5 – This is a review for a film that came out earlier in the year.  This film was released ‘under the radar’, so you can define it as an indie film.  Even if it is that kind of film, it was one that got a lot of critical praise for the topical reference it provided in the film; the tragic side of technology on the ‘real world’ through multiple storylines.  Even with some obvious cliché elements and predictability, there is enough layering and poignant moments to make Disconnect an entertaining film.

Premise:  Through the drama of our wired world, a group of people search for that real human connection.  Through it all, these people will find that in the direst moments, there is a place that the wired world can never connect.

This film is littered with many actors and actresses, so I am going to name the most notable ones:

Jason Bateman as Rich Boyd

Hope Davis as Lydia Boyd

Frank Grillo as Mike Dixon

Michael Nygvist as Stephen Schumacher

Paula Patton as Cindy Hull

Alexander Skarsgard as Derek Hull

Andrea Riseborough as Nina Dunham

Max Thieriot as Kyle

Jonah Bodo as Ben Boyd

With the usage of multiple storylines, there isn’t real strong main character, as we get this aspect of ‘living their lives’ through those storylines.  Even for no real ‘main’ character, all of these people mention do a good job in creating real people on screen.  In providing that realistic element, you have a strong attachment to each character, and become as intertwine in their lives as they are with the others.  Within that realism, there is this conflict that each of the characters deal with internally that reverberates through the context within reflects both the modernization of the world and emotional apathy in each of this.  This helps develop a fragile aspect that shows that each character is flawed, deep and endearing.  There is some obvious cliché elements brought through some confrontations and exposition dialogue, but for the overall presence, you will care for them.  The rest of the film is littered with typical supporting cast members that are either one-dimensional or common stand ins as ‘plot devices’.

The direction of this film is one (as mentioned above) that follows the element of multiple storylines weaving around a common theme.  In the vein of films like Crash and Traffic, this film speaks to a rhythm of the real world, but also dramatizes to entertain on screen.  When the film begins, we get introduced to all the main players in the film, and what is going on in each of their lives.  We also see how some of these characters are deeply intertwined into the modernize world and how there connection with technology (such as social media, email, and texting) causes a friction with their family.  This shows how these characters are drawn from reality, and see how they spiral into emptiness, discontent and apathy of their own lives.  Each of them has a personal problem at home, which levitates to their over usage of social media sites and many other things online.  This causes the multiple storylines in the film, and how each of their consequence has an effect on other people.  Even for the subtle building tension and realistic approach, that tension is held down because of cliché elements used to define those tense moments.  The direction relies on many typical ‘shocking’ events to draw out that realism, causing each dire point of intersection to being obvious and expected.  This causes a lot of fragment in the emotional development of multiple stories and characters.  When the more endearing moments happen within the emotional breakdown between certain characters, you sense the realism of the moment but can never feel the heart.  This lacking is underwhelming, but the themes introduced are still otherwise riveting.  The themes are what helps keep the movie flowing at a steady pace, reflecting on things that the characters (and us) should be wary about.  When the film does get o those ‘definite’ poignant moments, you start to see that shade of greatness of the themes, feeling the true meaning in the title of this film.  Once the film hits its climax, you reach a culmination that shows how far all these people will go, how deep their emotions will rise, and how the meaning of being ‘disconnected’ affects us all.  This ending helps bring some purpose to the experience we all seem to have every day, even when it’s frightening.

The visuals of the film are not as grandeur as others, but the grounded aspect helps create a normalcy for the story.  This aura helps bring you into the film, and creates a decent picture of believability.  The score is very subtle through the film, as it (for the most part) is not a strong force.  Even for the lacking of music, there are times when it does help prop up those ‘definitive’ moments, allowing for those situations or characters to shine in their frailty.

Overall, Disconnect is a film that will have a mirror into a dire facade of life.  Within those different layers, the film does a good job in creating relative situations, even if its cliché and predictable.  If you’re a fan of multiple storyline films, or one that has strong themes, this is one for you.  This film is definitely worth adding to your collection, and a good film to watch at home.

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