Unrelenting, unsettling, yet endlessly gripping, the Alice Winocour-directed Disorder has a tension that percolates beneath every moment. From start to finish there is no let-up from the sensation that something is about to happen, even though for the large part nothing does. But it’s this very minimalism that maintains the tension so adroitly.
In a fine display of casting, Matthias Schoenaerts puts in an astute performance as lead Vincent. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after his return from Afghanistan, Vincent’s health is obstructing his return to conflict. He finds himself in a job as a security guard at a large villa in the south of France, home to wealthy Lebanese businessman Whalid (Percy Kemp). Vincent is protecting the wife and child of Whalid whilst he is away on a business trip, but his diminishing mental health gets in the way. On top of this, clues as to the nature of Whalid’s job reveal it to be a much more demanding assignment than initially expected.
Schoenaerts’ performance as the anxious, paranoid and volatile Vincent is chilling. It is reported that Schoenaerts was intentionally only getting two hours sleep each night during filming, in order to capture the intensity of the character’s disorder. Vincent is prone to increasing paranoia and hallucinations, which cleverly blur the line between reality and imagination. Diane Kruger’s performance of Whalid’s wife Jessie is similarly well executed. Dialogue is sparse but her unsure and nervous persona is well captured. A mystery and intrigue surrounds the character, her thoughts merely woven into facial expressions. It is the suppression of emotion that paradoxically exasperates emotion. Jessie’s child Ali is also reticent throughout, and no single character seems able to express themselves, further extending the tension. This is bolstered by a great soundtrack provided by Gesaffelstein, a murky undercurrent that is both sleek and unnerving. The plot develops into something more wholesome in the last third, with relationships more revealing and anxieties coming into fruition.
Disorder is a film viewers will feel right in the gut, as they clasp at whatever lies nearby and events unfold. It’s 90% anticipation, and that’s what makes it so compelling.
Disorder is released nationwide on 25th March 2016.
Watch the trailer for Disorder here: