Disconnect (I) (2012)
A hard-working lawyer, attached to his cell phone, can't find the time to communicate with his family. A couple is drawn into a dangerous situation when their secrets are exposed online. A widowed ex-cop struggles to raise a mischievous son who cyber-bullies a classmate. An ambitious journalist sees a career-making story in a teen that performs on an adult-only site. They are strangers, neighbors and colleagues and their stories collide in this riveting dramatic thriller about ordinary people struggling to connect in today's wired world.
A drama centered on a group of people searching for human connections in today's wired world.
- The film explores how people experience the negative sides of modern communication technology by following three stories.
Up-and-coming reporter Nina has much success with her interview with underage video chat-room stripper Kyle. Kyle works in a whole "house" with other chat-room strippers under his boss, Harvey. However, the FBI wants her to reveal his address in order to shut down the whole website that hosts the web-rooms. Since she has paid him in order to make initial contact, she may have broken the law, making the police and her boss put pressure on her to cooperate. Nina wants to save him from the business, yet fears losing his trust in the process. Kyle gives her the address, and somehow, Harvey is tipped off and the entire house flees. When Nina discovers this, she follows them to the motel where they're staying, and asks Kyle to leave with her. At first, Kyle is hopeful for the future and willing, but when Nina is hesitant to guarantee him safe haven in her home, he resists. Harvey watches the argument, then slaps Nina. The entire group of chat-room strippers leaves.
Two boys, Jason and his friend Frye, impersonate a girl, "Jessica Rhony," on Facebook Messenger and convince teenager Ben (the son of Rich, a legal counsel at the TV station where Nina works) to send a lewd picture of himself. The boys distribute it to classmates, and the picture circulates to nearly everyone in their grade. Ben is so embarrassed by this cyberbullying that he attempts suicide and ends up in a coma. Rich doggedly searches Ben's social media, looking for answers, and begins chatting with "Jessica." Jason visits Ben in the hospital, where he meets Rich, and falsely calls himself Mike. Jason's father (the real Mike) discovers what Jason has been doing and becomes very angry with him. However, he protects his son by erasing the evidence on Frye's iPad. Later, Rich discovers that Jason is actually "Jessica," and goes to Mike's house angrily, resulting in a physical altercation. Jason tries to intervene, and Rich hits him with a hockey stick.
Cindy and Derek, a couple who recently lost their child, struggle after their identities are stolen online. They hire private detective Mike, Jason's father, to find the thief, and after revealing that Cindy had been regularly chatting on a support group website, Mike determines their burglar. They go after the suspect, Stephen Schumacher, following him at work, watching his movements, and breaking into his home for evidence. Right before Derek goes to confront him at his front door, Mike calls to tell him that Schumacher is not their guy, that he too was a victim of the burglar. Schumacher, who had been noticing Cindy and Derek stalking him, confronts them in their car with a shotgun; however, Derek, a former Marine, disarms him and forces him back into his house. Cindy is able to coax the gun away, relating to the online chats about each of their losses.
The film ends with none of the stories being resolved, and yet, with all characters having grown closer to the ones they love in the process, or rather, having stopped "disconnecting."