Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Voices
Releases February 6th, 2015 (In Theaters and VOD)
1 hr 43 mins
Rated R
Horror, Comedy


Director: Marjane Satrapi

Ryan Reynolds as Jerry
Gemma Arterton as Fiona
Anna Kendrick as Lisa
Jacki Weaver as Dr. Warren

Review by Stephen M.

You know you have issues when you talk to your dog and cat and they talk back.  And if you don't, chances are, like the main character of The Voices, Jerry (Ryan Reynolds), you have a serious case of schizophrenia.  The Voices is a dark comedy about an average guy at the factory with a smile on his face by with deep turmoil simmering as a result of his childhood.  The turmoil manifests itself in the form of his evil cat and kindhearted dog, playing into animal stereotypes.

The movie starts off at a snail pace introducing us to Jerry and his place of work.  His chipper demeanor seems a bit too cheerful, and when he returns home to a condescending voice, we don't immediately see where it's coming from.  The story starts to pick up only when Jerry has an "accidental" stabbing of his colleague.  From there, to the talking pets, and his mind bending slap back to reality from medication do we see how truly warped he and the story really is.  

I haven't seen Ryan Reynolds in a film since the horrible Green Lantern, and it was difficult accepting him in the role of Jerry.  Taking into account the complexity of the character, Ryan does an admirable job but still doesn't quite fit in.  In contrast, Gemma Arterton as well as Anna Kendrick are great as the ladies in Jerry's life, whether they want to be or not.  Both ladies characters are such a contrast to each other fitting in well with what we are accustomed with in their other films.  What the film really does well is the dialogue especially in Jerry's self-analysis of himself in talking to his pets and his shrink.  The back and forth dialogue between himself and the diabolical cat is hilarious.  

Where the film falters is the slow pace in the beginning as I have mentioned before and the especially awkward musical scene during the end credits.  The musical number is incredibly left field and somewhat of an awkward fit into the ending.  Meant to be amusing and entertaining, it leaves you in bewilderment instead of the joy you get from the end musical credits of a Muppets movie.  Besides that, Ryan as I said before was adequate in his role though not entirely a good fit.  I would have also liked to see more dialogue between his pets as well, with more of a personality in the dog.

Overall, I would recommend the film especially if you're into dark comedies.  The unique perspective(s) of Jerry makes the film stand out from its genre.  Try to stay awake for the first 20 minutes and you'll be rewarded the rest of the film.  The humor amid the blood and body parts as well as the slow downward spiral of Jerry will have you laughing at the relatively grim predicament.  You'll never look at your cat the same way again.


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