Saturday, November 29, 2014


another crash. that's what came to my mind when i read its synopsis. but disconnect proved to be something more timely and engaging than crash. riding on crash-like approach, this film was about three intertwined stories of how people's lives are influenced by modern means of communication, internet and the allied technologies.

there was nina, a go-getting ambitious reporter who got kyle, a minor who strips in video chatrooms to appear in an exclusive exposé on online prostitution. kyle, a runaway, works for harvey who owns the house where kyle stays as well as other minors. FBI picked this story and demands for nina to reveal kyle's identity and determine the brains behind this illegal practice. nina grew fond of kyle wanted to save him from the business, she was eventually forced to reveal kyle's address. kyle was willing to stay with nina but she hesitated to guarantee his safety. kyle then leaves with harvey and the rest of his "true family".

jason and frye invented jessica rhony, a girl who does not exist but befriends ben and soon convinces him to send his nude pictures through facebook messenger. the pictures quickly spreads to the rest of the students, embarrassing ben who eventually committed suicide and ended up in coma. ben's dad, rich (tv station legal counsel where nina works), begins chatting with jessica in order to understand what really happened to his son. meanwhile, jason's father mike, finds out that his son has got something to do with the suicide attempt of another student. he protects his son by erasing all evidence and goes to ben's house, where the confrontation ends with jason being hit by mike.

a married couple, cindy and derek, finds that their identities were stolen online together with all of their credit card numbers and other personal information. their relationship is also being tested by the loss of their child. they hire mike (jason's father) to help them identify the person behind the online theft against them. they zeroed in on schumacher who they follow and even went as far as breaking into his home. but according to mike, it wasn't schumacher who stole cindy and derek's identities. confrontation ensued with derek, a former marine, disarming Schumacher. this ended peacefully with both parties talking about their own losses. 
i like that the film was well-paced and well-edited. the cast was also effective, especially andrea riseborough and max thieriot. the three intertwined stories were not resolved ala traditional hollywood fare, which was fine. it could easily became a happy ever after story but it did not. kyle and nina could have become an item but the filmmakers decided not to. so thanks to that. its message of people getting 'connected' more than ever through internet and social media but in the process getting 'disconnected' with each our families and friends was powerful. "wired alienation" is one of grim realities of today's world. it makes you think of the consequences of your online actions and as one of the commenter said, will even make you look at your smartphones, tablets and laptops "with a new distrust". well-timed, modern-day look at modern-day relationships influenced by modern means of communication, disconnect is a compelling ensemble film worth watching.     

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