The Voices Movie Review
If your pets tell you to do something, you would do it, right? In The Voices, Ryan Reynolds plays a likable if socially awkward man who just happens to suffer from schizophrenia--specifically, he thinks his dog and cat speak to him, and what they tell him to do isn’t always… peaceful.
A dark comedy, the movie is about Reynolds attempting to cope with his disorder, and what happens when he stops taking his pills and starts murdering his female coworkers, played by the likes of Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick.
Reynolds is terrific in the lead, superbly straddling the intersection of likable, creepy and downright crazy. He’s a pleasing protagonist, pained by the disorder he knows he has and unable to separate fantasy from reality. His kooky performance plays perfectly into the tone of the movie--odd, but also oddly entertaining.
Director Marjane Satrapi (the Oscar-nominated Persepolis) presents The Voices as a very glossy, upbeat and cheerful comedy, mirroring her lead’s seemingly harmless outer shell, even as he proceeds to do awful things and store the heads of his victims in his refrigerator so he can continue conversing with them. Getting the tone just right for any dark comedy, especially one involving a protagonist that is a violent schizophrenic, is tricky, but Satrapi pulls it off.
The Voices does begin to quiet some in the final act as Reynolds’ character has to ccome to terms with what he’s done, and do something about it--what happens isn’t quite as interesting or entertaining as the earlier material. The ending is downright off-the-wall, and surely there will be more than a few moviegoers who say, “What the hell was that?”
But all in all, The Voices is a surprisingly smart, entertaining and oddly satisfying dark comedy that adequately dives into the mind of a schizophrenic while somehow keeping things “light.” After all, there are talking animals.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.