Sometimes after watching a movie I feel like I have something that I simply have to say about it; as though there is a storm of words inside my mind that might be harmful to me if I don’t let it all out. I’ve watched so many movies but there has never been a question about why I only review say 1 out of every 10 movies that I stream. By that I mean, why have I never questioned myself about this? I’m passionate about films and I also wouldn’t mind doing this professionally someday but why am I so selective and on what basis? And now it beckons the question: what really makes a movie good or bad and thereafter review worthy for Sloppy Etymology?
The absolute honest answer to that is – a movie needs to stir something inside me. It must, at best, confound me completely at the start and maybe even after the fact, at times. I want to ensure that when I’m reviewing it I’m not merely stating facts. My reviews delve into personal territories so often and I find that they bring out something more in me when I write them and it’s really the most satiating feeling, ever.
Disconnect (2012) reminds me why I enjoy writing movie reviews. It’s the kind of movie that I search for all over and meanwhile, in its quest, end up watching thirty-forty mediocre movies. I don’t think I say this outright at all, (for fear of sounding imposing and thereby scaring away my tiny reader audience) but PLEASE watch this movie.
As the name suggests, Disconnect is a drama that evolves into a very riveting thriller around the various facets of technological advancements and the subsequent consequences when we cannot disconnect from it. Several parallel storylines involving an upcoming journalist, a bunch of adolescent boys, a workaholic father, another extremely dictatorial father and a couple grieving over their dead child. The stories are not interconnected in a tacky way like Valentine’s Day or any other movie that decides to rope in more than one leading story. There’s only one instance of a connection and overlap between two stories and is in no way detrimental to the independent stories.
What I enjoyed best about Disconnect is how engrossing it is. I didn’t think about anything else while watching it. The movie does not linger over unwanted details and unnecessary exchanges between characters to create back story. It does not scream out a warning message to scare audiences regarding the perils of the Internet realm. It never creates a distinction between harm-inflictors and their victims. You will not be able to hate any of these characters no matter what side of the rope they come out on. I found myself rooting for every person in all four stories.
I believe the movie depicts real life right down to the nitty-gritty details without making you feel too uncomfortable. If you’re looking for something very sore and bothersome with this type of Wired disadvantage story-line you should go watch Trust (2010) and after that never be able to trust anyone ever again. But really, we don’t need that kind of brutal reality. Besides, everyone seems to have enough trust issues and insecurities anyway nowadays.
I would go into the details about each story but I suppose it would be more enjoyable if you entered and inhabited these stories without much prior knowledge. It was a complete delight for me because I was unaware. You tend to notice things with more keenness without much forewarning, is what I’ve come to understand now. As the movie progresses to its crescendo, things simultaneously come together and fall apart. While I could argue at length that each of the stories ends perfectly, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that somehow they’re all happy endings. They’re not.
The slow-motion climatic sequence and the Sigur-Ros music score, the brilliant cast and crisp editing and script make Disconnect one of the best movies I’ve seen in the past year. I like to believe that sometimes filmmakers, writers, directors put a piece of themselves in a movie and that’s one of the reasons they are motivated to make it. Very often, viewers miss that peak moment and maybe that’s when they pass it off by saying the movie made little sense or that it just wasn’t a good movie.
With Disconnect, not for a single moment will you feel like you’re being led astray. The message is crystal clear, it’s not the Internet that we need to disconnect from but our lack of humanity and the way we lead our lives, the morals and virtues that we appraise ourselves with so proudly but never really believe in, the need to be loved but still never express it – keeping that in mind I would say it’s pretty obvious where lies the actual Disconnect.