Internet Crash

Paula Patton in Disconnect (2012)

"Disconnect" doesn't have a synopsis as such, it is three stories which I believe have been based upon true stories all of which have the internet in common. We have a story about an investigative journalist doing a piece on online underage sex workers as she chats via web link to a young man called Kyle, played by Max Thieriot. There is also a couple who following the death of a child are struggling to connect and the wife seeking someone to talk to online. And then there is a teen who doesn't have friends and spends time alone and online who is being duped by two guys in his class who are pretending to be a girl who fancies him on his social network page.

Now as someone who works online I champion any movie which highlights the negative aspects of the internet and "Disconnect" highlights three real problems with the internet which include cyber bullying, identity theft and then there is the one involving the reporter, the young man and the underage sex trade online. And there is plenty of good information for those who watch from highlighting that parents need to be more involved in what their children are up to online even if that means controlling access to highlighting how easy it is for your information to end up in the wrong hands when you innocently click a link sent to you whilst chatting online.

Jonah Bobo in Disconnect (2012)

But I have an issue with "Disconnect" and it is in the way these stories are handled because firstly it aims to connect these three stories in a "Crash" style manner which was once clever but now comes across as contrived. Not only that director Henry Alex Rubin has an observational style, half obscured faces and floating cameras which is not my thing. Neither is the soft lighting which is used through out which stops this from feeling real. And that in turn makes it at times slow going because it goes from being about the dangers of the internet to the look.

Despite this "Disconnect" features a very good cast with Jonah Bobo delivering the best performance in the entire movie as the teen whose lonely life is destroyed by innocently reaching out to someone online and doing something incredibly stupid.

What this all boils down to is that "Disconnect" has a lot of good depth and the depth is what makes the movie worth watching for anyone who uses the internet. But unfortunately the contrived way of connecting the stories and the artistic styling frequently dominates it and not in a good way.

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