Disorder (Maryland)

Vincent is an ex-soldier with PTSD who is hired to protect the wife and child of a wealthy Lebanese businessman while he’s out of town. Despite the apparent tranquility on Maryland, Vincent perceives an external threat.

Disorder’ is a slick, pounding thriller from France that gets deep under your skin and stays there. It follows Vincent (Matthias Schoenaerts), an ex-soldier who has returned from duty suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Through one of his friends, he is hired to work as security for a party at the luxurious villa of a wealthy businessman in the French Riviera, which leads to further work protecting the businessman’s wife when he’s away from home. When the true nature of the man’s business comes to light, a seemingly easy job becomes fraught with danger.

The setting and the characters are introduced in a terrifically directed early sequence which follows Vincent as he moves through the house and round the grounds, picking up on vital bits of information from overheard conversations and immersing the viewer in the atmosphere and the location. The film does an incredibly good job of putting you in Vincent’s headspace, with Schoenaerts performance emphasising the effect PTSD is having on him without going overboard. I’ve talked at length about the high esteem in which I hold Schoenaerts previously and he’s a force of nature once again, the pure embodiment of wounded masculinity and he is perfect in the role. Opposite him, Diane Kruger is a solid foil as Jessie, the businessman’s wife, a woman who has been content up to this point to turn a blind eye to her husband’s actions for the benefits of the fancy estate home and easy lifestyle. The film comes into its own when the narrative delivers on the tense set up and the final half of the film is as good a thriller as I’ve seen in some time.

Beyond the performances and Winocour’s taut direction, the star of the show is the pulsating score, composed by the French techno artist Gesaffelstein. It’s a score that develops the tense atmosphere and it helps to build up the suspense superbly, used sparingly where needed and ramped up a level when necessary. The film wouldn’t be nearly as effective without it. As the film progresses I could feel myself sliding deeper and deeper into my seat and this culminates in an intense sequence as Vincent is forced to defend the family against intruders. It’s a wonderfully directed sequence, utterly captivating and unbearably tense, which is a strong description of the film as whole. ‘Disorder’ is a superbly crafted thriller, directed with skill and style by Alice Winocour and it’s worth your time.

Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Alice Winocour

Starring: Matthias Schoenaerts, Diane Kruger, Paul Hamy, Zaïd Errougui-Demonsant and Percy Kemp

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4085084/

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