"Re-Connecting with Family"
DISCONNECT is a very well done, powerful drama about the evils that the Internet has brought out in many human beings. Sadly, however, there’s a lot of strong foul language and some lewd content. Also, the movie brings up several major social issues or problems, but neglects to apply any strong and overt Christian or biblical solutions during its climax. Thus, its solution strikes MOVIEGUIDE® as rather Romantic and emotional rather than rational and biblical, much less Christian.
Basically, the movie tells three stories in Los Angeles that become linked together. In the first one, a female TV reporter does a story about a young man who’s part of an Internet porn chatroom. In the second story, the lawyer for the TV reporter’s station tries to find out why his teenage son, now in a coma, tried to kill himself after chatting with a girl on the Internet. The girl happens to be a complete invention of two rebellious, bored teenagers. Finally, in the third story, a married couple suffering the loss of their very young son, become the victims of an identity thief. They hire one of the rebellious teenagers’ fathers to help them track down the thief.
The three stories end in three separate acts of potential violence. The young Internet porn man’s boss confronts the reporter, the distraught married couple confronts the man they think is the identity thief, and the lawyer confronts the one rebellious teenager and his father.
The script for DISCONNECT is very well written. The dialogue is full of tension and meaning. All the actors deliver superb performances, including star Jason Bateman, who plays the lawyer. All this results in many heartrending scenes.
The ultimate message of DISCONNECT is that the technology of the Internet has distracted people from the personal connections they have with their families and fellow human beings. The movie ends with a beautiful, somewhat hopeful image suggesting that the younger generation can, and will, eventually learn this lesson and at least begin to make a change.
However, the movie has lots of strong foul language. Also, one early scene contains some images of upper female nudity to set the scene of the Internet porn house where the young man contacted online by the reporter works. Later, the two mean teenagers text a photo of some young woman’s genitals to entice the lawyer’s son to send them a nude photo of himself. The boy tries to hang himself after someone at his school texts his nude photo to everyone there.
Finally, although the story of the married couple and the lawyer’s family end [SPOILER ALERT] on positive, pro-family notes, the story of the reporter and the young Internet porn victim doesn’t. At one point, the female reporter suggests to the young man that he can find help at a church to improve his life, but he rejects that idea out of hand. Also, at the end, he finally tells her to leave him alone. He adds that he and in his colleagues find happiness from doing their video-porn jobs. Thus, the ending to that story suggests Internet porn is okay and isn’t equivalent to some kind of sex slavery.
Except for the reference to finding help in a church, there is no other overt faith component to DISCONNECT. However, the problems and social issues in the movie are just the sort of thing that religion, especially the Christian religion, is meant to correct. In fact, it’s through our communion and fellowship with God through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that we are best able to commune and fellowship with our neighbors. Furhtermore, it’s our connection with God through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit that makes a real connection to our families, friends and loved ones possible. In contrast to this, the characters in DISCONNECT just suddenly realize that modern Internet and cellphone technology has driven people apart and, in fact, can actually lead to extreme pain and violence. Without reliance on God through biblical faith in Jesus Christ, however, there’s no guarantee that flawed people can come to such a positive realization?
DISCONNECT could have been greatly improved by getting rid of the more explicit, offensive content and by inserting stronger Christian or biblical solutions to the problems it raises. As it is, more than extreme caution is required.
(BB, C, Ro, LLL, VV, SS, NN, A, DD, M) Strong moral, pro-family worldview and message that’s also against finding refuge in bad and good things you can do with Internet technology, with a positive mention of getting help at a church but that suggestion is rejected and worldview/message is mitigated by some Romantic notions; 77 obscenities (including many “f” words), two GDs, and 14 light profanities, plus two rebellious 15-year-old boys put urine in soda cans and put them back on shelf at a convenience store to watch man buy the can and spit out what he tastes; strong intense violence includes man points rifle at another man, and they fight over it at one point, man hits boy with hockey stick in slow motion, but the actual impact isn’t shown, man punches woman, but actual punch is not shown, two men fight, older sister walks in on 15-year-old brother trying to hang himself, and she stops him from dying but he lapses into a coma and may have brain damage or may never wake up; depicted intercourse in one scene, some sexting of nude photos, and female reporter talks to young man on Internet porn site to encourage him to let her interview him, some crude talk; teenage boys text nude crotch shot they found to another boy they don’t know and an image of that is shown very briefly, shots of upper female nudity in one scene, upper female nudity in one sex scene, and upper male nudity; alcohol use; smoking and marijuana use; and, Internet bullying, identity theft, couple breaks into house of man they think is identity thief, rebellious teenagers cause serious trouble, some dysfunctional family situations that, however, begin to heal by the movie’s end, and FBI forces reporter into untenable situation revealing a source.
DISCONNECT tells three stories about using Internet technology that become linked. A female journalist does a report about a young man who’s part of an porn chatroom. In the second story, the lawyer for the TV reporter’s station tries to find out why his teenage son, now in a coma, tried to kill himself after talking to a girl online. The girl was the invention of two rebellious, bored teenagers. In the third story, a married couple suffering the loss of their young son becomes victims of an identity thief. They hire one of the rebellious teenagers’ fathers to help them catch the thief.
The script for DISCONNECT is very well written. The dialogue is full of tension and meaning. All the actors deliver superb performances. This results in many heartrending scenes. The ultimate message of DISCONNECT is that technology has distracted people from the personal connections they have with their families and fellow humans. DISCONNECT ends on a strong pro-family note but has lots of strong foul language and some explicit lewd content. So, more than extreme caution is advised.