A fun, black-comedy gem that highlights Reynolds’ character acting credentials through its interesting premise and ridiculous, pseudo-realist set up.
This years black-comedy gem, The Voices, is a comedic take on a psychopath flick. An understated comedy that should have demanded more attention in its early 2015 British release. Directed by Iranian-born director Marjane Satrapi of Persepolis fame and starring Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, and Anna Kendrick, it’s one of this years best comedies.
Memorable for his role in the superhero flop Green Lantern (2011), and starring alongside Denzel Washington in Safe House (2012), Ryan Reynolds roles are sporadic, yet he continues to be a household name. The Voices exposes his talents as a versatile character actor, starring as both the lead, Jerry, as well as voicing his two pets Bosco (the ‘good’ conscience) and Mr Whiskers (the ‘bad’ presence).
We follow Jerry (Reynolds), a troubled loner who while working in a factory befriends two accountants (Anna Kendrick and Gemma Arterton), soon to become his victims. Jerry hears voices seemingly coming from his pets that compel him to commit ‘accidental’ acts of murder. Jerry however does not stop there, proceeding to dismember the bodies – before they too begin to give him some life coaching.
The film plays on morality. Jerry, clearly having a troubled childhood, is trying to balance his urges, supported by Mr Whiskers, with a want to do good, Bosco’s influence. The accidental murders set the comedy tone – no matter how much he tries, Jerry just can’t be ‘good’. The film succeeds in balancing Jerry’s unconventional and difficult childhood with his current situation, encouraging both sympathy and disgust, Satrapi creates a strangely likable protagonist – an odd sensation for a murder film. The Voices is a truly original experience.
The film is noticeably light, all shots are bright and colorful ensuring the aesthetic makes you awake of its pseudo-realism, it is clear it doesn’t take itself seriously. While at times the film borders on the ridiculous, this awareness keeps it reigned in. Interspersed with violence, it definitely isn’t a film for the feint of heart.
The Voices is funny relief that’s bound to keep most entertained. Reynolds plays an oddly likable protagonist, and the supporting cast ensure this is a film that shouldn’t be missed – a truly unique experience.