Vincent Loreau (Matthias Schoenaerts), an ex-soldier with PTSD is assigned a security job at a party of a French-Lebanese businessman, Imad Whalid (Percy Kemp). After all goes well, Vincent is called back to guard Imad’s wife, Jessie (Diane Kruger) and son, Ali (Zaïd Errougui-Demonsant). However, Vincent is paranoid, losing his hearing, and is becoming slowly unhinged. Things take a turn for the worse when Vincent notices they’re being followed and later suspects that Imad is more than just a businessman and is instead an arms dealer, because, of course he is.
Co-written and directed by Alice Winocour, “Disorder,” originally titled “Maryland,” is less about Vincent’s disorder and more about being a high-strained suspense film. It’s concerned with building up the momentum and intensity, but what it ultimately fails at doing is developing its characters. Schoenaerts and Kruger spend a lot of the film in each other’s presence, but they barely speak two words to each other. It’s all tight-lipped awkwardness and tension between them. Which, on one hand is understandable for a woman with a young son who’s forced to be around a man she barely knows for security reasons. He eyes her a lot, but because we don’t get to know him very well, his gaze can be misinterpreted from one of attraction to a creepiness that would undermine his mission.
“Disorder” has some suspenseful moments, but it’s constantly caught in the haze and fog of Vincent’s deteriorating and paranoid behavior. Is this simply supposed to be a thriller? Is there something more to it? It’s very clear that everything we see is disjointed and semi unclear, since we’re getting it from only Vincent’s perspective, but the film lacks finesse or true motive. What did anybody gain in the end when even the finale is a bit of a head scratcher? Lackluster is the best word to use to describe “Disorder.” It doesn’t deliver on any front and expects the audience to hold on for too long before anything actually happens. When something finally does, it isn’t particularly worth the wait. The characters themselves aren’t very engaging and neither is the story, so it’s hard to latch onto anything that would be of interest.
Despite the film being less than mediocre, Matthias Schoenaerts gives a multifaceted performance, driven mostly by internal angst that shows up clearly on his face when the need arises. His paranoid eyes are wild and roaming which works to heighten the tension. Diane Kruger is sadly not given very much to do here and her presence is wasted in the overall scheme of things. The primary focus is on Schoenaerts and Kruger is in the background a lot of the time. The two of them could have interacted more, which would have definitely furthered any character development and made it easier to sit through the film. Ultimately, “Disorder” is a miss. It takes too long to get going and when it finally does, the investment in anything that’s happening isn’t very high.
"Disorder" is a miss. It takes too long to get going and when it finally does, the investment in anything that's happening isn't very high.