‘Disorder’ is aptly titled

Matthias Schoenaerts in ‘Disorder’

Almost all of Disorder takes place on an estate in France named Maryland, which was the film’s original title.  “Vincent” (Matthias Schoenaerts) is a member of the French military who is suffering from PTSD.  We learn further into the film that he served in Afghanistan but as is often the case with those afflicted with PTSD, the question is, did he fully return?

He wants to go back into the field but is waiting the results of a physical/mental evaluation of his fitness for active service.  In the interim he accepts a spot on a team of military types who’ve been hired to provide security for an event at Maryland.  “Imad Whalid” (Percy Kemp) is the wealthy owner of Maryland and whatever his public occupation is, we discover he is involved in arms dealings.  Apparently there is a problem with one of his deals and it reaches to the highest echelons of the French government.  How else are we to interpret the presence of Interior Minister “Pierre Dufoy” (Phillipe Haddid) at the soiree and his secretive discussions with Whalid?

After the party Whalid has to leave town for a couple of days and he needs someone to provide security for his wife “Jessie” (Diane Kruger) and son “Ali” (Zaïd Errougui-Demonsant) during his absence.  Vincent’s friend “Denis” (Paul Hamy) offers the gig to Vincent and since the money is good, he accepts.  The crux of the remainder of the movie is whether there is or isn’t a real threat against the lives of Jessie and Ali; or is it all a delusion in Vincent’s mind.  The fact we’re shown he’s mixing painkillers and anti-seizure medications makes it seem that it is the latter.

Diane Kruger, Zaïd Errougui-Demonsant, Paul Hamy and Matthias Schoenaerts in ‘Disorder’

Aside from some brief exposition on Vincent’s life before this job came up and an eventful visit to the beach, everything happens at Maryland.  The estate is a great place for a set piece, large and lushly appointed.  Director Alice Winocour makes effective use of the estate, particularly the multiple camera security system.  The shots of Vincent’s POV as he monitors the estate through the lenses of the cameras tell a nonverbal tale that’s easy on the eyes.

Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kruger have interesting chemistry as their connection builds slowly during the film’s 98 minutes.  He plays the part of a man whose seen and done too much to just go back to a normal life well.  Kruger’s beauty is downplayed by making her look as plain as possible in a number of shots, but she’s still an incredible looking woman.  Fortunately she has the acting chops to enable the audience to enjoy her performance without being distracted by her beauty.  There’s one shot where she gives Schoenaerts a quick glance that speaks volumes without a single word.  While the film is in French with English subtitles, the fact that both of the leads are fluent in French is a major plus.  The tattoo on Schoenaerts right forearm is a nice tough if the viewer is quick enough to read what it says.  One word that is close to perfect in describing the life of someone with PTSD.

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