Rarely is a score so integral to a film’s tone as it is in Disorder. The story centers on a French soldier (Matthias Schoenaerts) suffering from PTSD and the degradation of his senses: his hearing is shot, he can’t discern left from right. While on leave he signs up for a job as a bodyguard for a wealthy family in the south of France. When the father leaves town something starts going wrong; whether it’s real or a product of the bodyguard’s imagination is another matter. Most of all Disorder succeeds as a stylistic exercise in point-of-view, putting us into the bodyguard’s shoes the whole time using Gesaffelstein’s tense score, effective sound mixing, and jittery camerawork. Schoenaerts, who sleep deprived himself for the role, is quite believable and very watchable as the paranoid hero. Yet while the movie boasts an elaborate party sequence in the first section and a pretty well-executed conclusion, there’s not enough tension in the middle because Disorder doesn’t try to develop a relationship between the bodyguard and the mom (Diane Kruger). Moreover, with the exception of one odd but enjoyable scene, Kruger plays her character too coldly. Director Alice Winocour says she was inspired by Antonioni’s Blow Up and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation. Unlike those movies, however, Disorder is claustrophobic and rather humorless. That could be the point.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White