Without a doubt there are some minor spoilers in sight.
There is probably a lot to tell about The Voices but at the moment it feels like most of it is indescribable. That being said, I’ll give it my best to capture the essence of the movie that is so weird that when I tried to get my friend to watch it, it took me a while to explain, without spoilers, what the movie was all about.
Ryan Reynolds stars as Jerry from shipping, a nice guy who tries to win a heart of a hot British chick Fiona (Gemma Arterton) working in accounting. Things seem more or less normal in the beginning, Jerry feels a little weird but not too much until he starts to have conversations with his cat Mr. Whiskers and his dog Bosco. As the movie proceeds, it becomes gradually clear that Jerry is a bit crazy and when he accidentally on purpose kills Fiona, things spiral out of control completely.
The Voices never tries to be normal. It is completely crazy and odd by creating its own little world and it’s actually fantastic. Sure, it might not be a movie for everyone’s taste but since it’s hard to categorize The Voices into a specific genre, I can’t really say it fails in any way. The easiest categorization would be black humor which, based on experience, is something that sometimes works and sometimes fails completely. The Voices succeeds because Ryan Reynolds as Jerry is the perfect choice to convey the kind of humor the movie aims towards! Reynolds takes on a very opposite persona by having innocent, almost child like mannerism all while sawing up Fiona like it was nothing. His voice work as the cat and the dog is also great and it all just makes me super excited for Deadpool.
With a strong leading performance, the only criticism would be towards the plot where the movie carries itself better in the second half. The first half of the movie is weaker due to the lack of action and it almost stands still until all hell breaks loose and Jerry gets himself into a lot of trouble. Fiona’s character feels a little bit annoying but she is well balanced by Lisa (Anna Kendrick) who is sweet and actually likes Jerry. The third woman in Jerry’s life is his psychiatrist Dr. Warren (Jacki Weaver) who, based on what happens in the movie, isn’t very good at her job. Surprisingly Weaver’s performance was probably the weakest in The Voices and I think it might have been the black humor aspect that threw her off. Or that the direction for the character wasn’t as on point as it should have been.
The thing that was probably the most on point was the cinematography by Maxime Alexander – a guy who is very experienced with the horror genre. There is an aspect to The Voices where Jerry’s apartment is featured in two different ways – in a dream-like state that Jerry is in due to the fact that he has stopped taking his medication and the reality. Alexander gives both a very distinctive difference while the reality feels like an illusion by using specific elements in the apartment as focal points. The first time Jerry witnesses his apartment in this reality is horrific and it is mostly thanks to the direction Alexander takes with the visual representation.
Though the plot has some weaker points, The Voices still carries itself well with Marjane Satrapi’s direction and Alexander’s cinematography. Eventually that strength comes across and with the plot culminating in the end, the movie will leave the viewer on a high note rather than disappoint. Actually, one of my favorite scenes does take place in the end where the smoke and lighting combination feels just very surreal and beautiful with Jerry walking through the hallway. There’s also the final song sequence that is so misplaced and yet combined to the whole movie that you can’t help to smile like an idiot when that song starts to play.
Finally, as The Voices takes on some pretty horrific events by giving them a funny twist, the movie feels very fresh. The performance by Reynolds is strong and carries well, his physical mannerism making it impossible not to giggle when something really bad is happening on screen and it all just goes to show that murder doesn’t always have to be dead serious.