MOVIE REVIEW: THE VOICES / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: MARJANE SATRAPI / SCREENPLAY: MICHAEL R. PERRY / STARRING: RYAN REYNOLDS, GEMMA ARTERTON, ANNA KENDRICK, JACKI WEAVER / RELEASE DATE: MARCH 20TH
In its simplest form, The Voices is a black comedy centred on Jerry (Reynolds), a happy-go-lucky factory worker who happens to have conversations with his evil cat and his far-less-sinister, docile dog. When a date with a co-worker doesn’t go to plan, things take a murderous turn and the darker side of Jerry starts to come to the fore as he struggles with his past and with holding back his bleak thoughts.
Despite starting with quite the humourous edge, as The Voices goes on then the more sinister side of the film starts to become more prominent as the bodies (or heads even) start to mount up. With his cat essentially the devil on one shoulder and his dog an angel on the other shoulder, poor Jerry’s journey suffers a huge switch in tone as he struggles with the situation he finds himself in.
Satrapi’s film is most certainly surreal, with almost a sense of Don Coscarelli’s Bubba Ho-Tep or John Dies at the End to it and with moments that wouldn’t feel out of place in something like Flight of the Conchords or Eagle vs. Shark when it comes to the character of Jerry. Then there’s a darker element at play with a twisted Doctor Dolittle or even Norman Bates vibe to it. And throughout The Voices duration, it still maintains an almost innocence and naivety to the central Jerry.
There are some fine supporting turns here, if not sometimes a little tongue-in-cheek, but its most certainly Ryan Reynolds’ film. Regardless of what actions are going on, you always still can’t help but feel sorry for Jerry, and Reynolds is truly brilliant in how he delivers the character. As well as Jerry, Reynolds also lends his vocals to Mr. Whiskers (his cat) and Bosco (his dog), not to mention a few other characters that only add further to the psyche of the troubled central character of The Voices.
This is a film that sometimes may feel like its struggling to get settled into what it’s really looking to achieve, although that could well be by design as it does add a frantic, impulsive edge to the film much in the way that its central character struggles to find peace.
The Voices is a film that most definitely flips its tone at a moment’s notice; at times it can be simply brutal and even quite gory, yet there are also plenty of genuinely funny moments that will bring a chuckle to the most downbeat of faces. And as such, because of the more humourous moments, this only makes the darker moments more impactful and hard hitting, particularly when we get to take a glimpse into Jerry’s tragic backstory. All of this is even further added to by an expertly-picked soundtrack that is subtle yet manages to intertwine beautifully with the on-screen happenings.
Expected Rating: 6
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