'Disconnect' DVD Review: A Thrilling Film About The Dangers Of The Internet
Disconnect features brilliant directing, dynamic mix of actors and a great plot, making it a thoroughly enjoyable mystery-drama.
Disconnect stars Paula Patton (Cindy Hull), Alexander Skarsgård (Derek Hull), Jason Bateman (Rich Boyd), Jonah Bobo (Ben Boyd), Andrea Riseborough (Nina Dunham), and Max Thieriot (Kyle) as interconnected residents of the town of Ridgewood. With this mix of A and B-List actors, you can expect a range of acting capabilities – some actors give better performances than others. Disconnect follows the lives of three families and their negative experiences of social media – the dangers of Internet chat rooms Facebook and online porn.
Derek and Cindy Hull are a married couple whose relationship has been on the rocks ever since the death of their baby. With a neglectful husband Cindy turns to social media for a source of comfort, while Derek gambles their money away online. Cindy and Derek expose the first danger of social media depicted in the film: identity theft. The Hulls face identity theft and hire a private detective, Mike Dixon (Frank Grillo), to find the thief, exposing the couple's online secrets in the process.
Coincidentally, Detective Dixon is the father of Jason Dixon (Colin Ford), a high school student who pairs up with his friend, Frye (Aviad Bernstein), to make a fake Facebook profile they call Jessica Rhony. Using this profile, they flirt with classmate Ben Boyd, convincing him to send them a nude picture of himself, which they then leak to the whole school. Here we see the effects of cyber bulling as it pushes Ben to attempt suicide. He fails and ends up in a coma.
Ben’s father happens to be the big time lawyer of the local TV station where Nina Dunham works. Nina breaks the story on an online teenage sex website with an exclusive interview from Kyle, an online stripper. Nina’s story is picked up by big news stations, leading the FBI straight to Nina. They question her and she soon finds herself in some legal trouble.
Disconnect is full of surprises and twists. Director Henry Alex Rubin gives the film such a dark tone, it almost seems like it will be a thriller, but it turns out to be more of a mystery-drama. Disconnect serves as a cautionary tale of the dangers of online world; however, technology cannot be all to blame because fault also lies in those who misuse it.
Simultaneously telling three stories is a difficult task, but Rubin does a great job at intertwining each story into one another. My only disappointment is the ending of the film. Rubin ends each storyline with a fight, leaving the characters without closure. I’m left wondering what happened to each of the families. Will Ben wake up from his coma? Where is Kyle going? Will the Hulls repair their marriage?