Interview-Review: Disconnect (2012) – An Intense Drama, Thriller Starring Marc Jacobs

1) What is Disconnect about?

It’s a film about how being connected 24/7, through the internet and everything (social media, websites, forums etc.), has made us surprisingly more disconnected in real life. Disconnect is very much about presenting you something and then turning it on its head. The characters you think are the “good guys” turn out to make bad decisions, and the so-called “bad guys” become more sympathetic. It’s hard to give a synopsis of the film, but basically it’s a bunch of different stories of people and how they’re all connected together, without even knowing it. 

So like Crash (2004)?
Yeah, in a way. Only better (laughs).

2) What did you like about this film?
You know I expected it to be a manipulating film, and so I was very skeptical early on, but then I really connected to it I guess. I got very emotional towards the end, which I didn’t expect. It gets very intense in the third act, very dramatic, but somehow it feels real and honest. And like I said I liked that it subverts expectations.

It also tries to do something creative and dynamic visually, which you normally wouldn’t expect from a drama. It doesn’t always work, but I appreciate it for trying.

Oh, and the cast is spectacular I’m a big fan of Jason Bateman and Alexander Skarsgård. Paula Patton was great in it too.

What about Marc Jacobs? I know you’re a Marc Jacobs fanatic.
Yeah, I mean I watched this movie mostly because of him and because it premiered at the Venice Film Festival. This was his acting debut, his first time on the big screen and he nails it. He plays this Harvey character, kind of like Alien from Spring Breakers, only less showy and more serious and realistic. He’s very vicious and angry and dark in the film. From what I’ve seen in interviews the real Marc Jacobs is nothing like that. He’s calm and soft-spoken, and here he’s just unrecognizable and yet he’s not over-acting. He was great. I’m impressed!

3) Good to hear. What did you dislike about Disconnect?
The film takes a while to get going. At the beginning it’s kind of slow and until all the characters are introduced and you made the link in your mind to understand how everyone is connected it takes a while. So the beginning of the film is a bit boring, but then once it gets going it’s great.

Some of the scenes or technical and technological aspects of how “the internet is bad for you” felt a bit preachy and possibly unrealistic. Then again, I’m no expert, so I mights just be talking out of my ass here. It does work however to make you think about your behavior online and how everything you do in the “virtual world” leaves traces and everyone can see everything you have on your computer.

Another small gripe is the storyline about the kids, not going to spoil anything, but that one felt like the most heavy-handed part of the film. My favorite one on the other hand was the one with the reporter and the underage kids doing cam shows.

4) Who would you recommend this film to?
I would recommend this film to people who like really intense, emotionally devastating drams. It’s also kind of a thriller, especially with Skarsgård and Patton’s storyline. It’s not for everyone though, I realize that. Also, and not that it’s particularly Oscar-baity, but I feel that if your tastes are similar to those of the Academy you might especially dig this one.

5) And with that pretentious remark I’d love to close this off, but is there anything else you’d like to add? Any random thought on your mind?
Well, I did want to mention the ending of this film: The very climax, where shit goes down. They use an extreme slow-motion, which I’ve only ever seen used in Lars von Trier films, namely Melancholia (another movie starring Alexander Skarsgård). And I’m not sure why they went with this slow-mo, though of course it looks cool, it almost takes you out of the film. I don’t know I have mixed feelings about it.

To go out on a high note, I really want to mention Marc Jacobs again. I’d love to see him in more movies. If that’s not his thing, I’d still be super happy if he’d take on more costume designing jobs. So far he only worked on a Greek short called The Capsule (2012), which unfortunately I can’t seem to find anywhere, but if you look at the trailer: It’s so gorgeous!

Rating on First Viewing: 7 out of 10


      • Annie Oakley

        It just didn’t resonate with me for personal reasons and the narrative seemed wooden and stilted. Mobile phones and social media are banned at schools here and we don’t have personal social media as a family. Alexanders parts seemed the most interesting. The film lacked artistic flair and committed perhaps the worst crime, It was boring

      • davideperretta

        I see. Well, I definitely had some of the same problems with the film that you mention. But I don’t know I liked it more than I thought I would have, so maybe that was it.

      • Annie Oakley

        I was bullied at school and I never got so depressed that I wanted to kill myself. Once some girls held my arms while another one lifted up my shirt so everyone could see my tits in front of the whole class in the playground and I thought she was my friend Another time a girl made up a rumor that I had lice and everyone ran away from me. I was bullied for a long time and I just got mad at people. Thinking that a kid would kill themselves in the film over one thing seemed unrealistic. I’ma child of the nineties where there was no such thing as bully awareness and believe me school was a whole lot different back then. The other downside is Most adults I know still act the same way, telling lies spreading rumors nasty bitching about others at work . People are a fucking nightmare and I just ignore them. I found that the stories lacked a lot of substance and the characters were one dimensional.

      • davideperretta

        I’m sorry to hear that. That must have been hard, but I hope you’re also stronger because of it.
        I agree that part felt very unrealistic. You’re actually changing my mind on this film now that you point out these things..

      • Annie Oakley

        HAHA stick by your standards my friend, you must have had your opinions for a reason and your post is exquisitely grand. The last self interview I saw was Ingmar Bergmans on the criterion website and yours is (almost) as interesting. 🙂 I can’t imagine it was an easy feat

      • davideperretta

        Wow, well thank you so much! Good to hear and being put in the same sentence with Criterion, way to stroke my ego 🙂 Seriously though you’re always very supportive and I truly appreciate it.

  1. Pingback: Mini-Review: Jason Bateman’s Bad Words (2013) is a Solid Directorial Debut and a Funny Black Comedy | black is white

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