Recent Releases – The Voices

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Likeable and unassuming, Jerry lives on his own in an apartment above a Bowling Alley, with only his dog, Bosco, and his cat, Mr. Whiskers for company. Not all is as it seems though as he can hear his adorable pets talk, and unfortunately for Jerry, Mr. Whiskers has a manipulative desire for murder.

If there is a stronger case for a film to become an overnight cult classic this year other than The Voices, then I will be very surprised. It’s probably not going to do massively well in the mainstream but I can already see this film developing a small group of avid followers (including yours truly). The fact it stars Reynolds (an actor who divides a lot of opinion), features a lot of brutal and unsettling imagery, and quirks by the dozen leads me to believe this will enter the world of all things cult very soon. This is a wonderfully twisted black comedy that almost plays as a kind of psychedelic version of Psycho – Jerry has a lot of similarities to Norman Bates but The Voices delivers a much more flamboyant serial killer tale.

This is really up there as one of Reynolds’ finest performances. It’s great to see a trend forming of late where he’s starring in roles that require a certain dramatic nuance opposed to the usual comedic or serious action range we’ve seen from him in the past. This should pave the way for bigger and brighter things for the young Canadian as he deserves to be regarded as an excellent actor. I’m crossing my fingers we see a similar cinematic transformation to that of Matthew McConaughey’s career AKA “The McConaissance” – If you will, a “Reynoldssaince” (I’m coining it guys). I’m also hoping the much-anticipated Deadpool film catapults his career rather than crushes it… but that’s another discussion. It seems like he’s really found a great balance between his quirky comedic side and his more serious dramatic style of acting. But what really glows is his voiceover work for both Bosco and Mr. Whiskers.

The Voices, film still

I would highly recommend watching this film on the basis of these two characters alone. If the loveable cuddly Bosco is the angel on Jerry’s shoulders then the vindictively devious Mr. Whiskers is without a doubt the devil of the partnership. This hell-cat will go down as one of the most colourfully evil creations in film history (Puss in Boots wouldn’t stand a chance one on one with this vindictive little monster.)

I hate to single out an actor or actress for a poor performance but Gemma Arterton is truly appalling in this movie. I hadn’t seen her in much prior to this but I had expected a lot more from her considering the buzz from her Tess of the D’Urbervilles stint and a string of big budget Hollywood films like Quantum of Solace and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters… but such a disappointment. She gives the impression she’s playing a part in a west-end show giving a really hammy over-the-top caricature of a young English woman. It was so bad, that at one point, I actually expected Dick van Dyke to dance his way into shot and announce “You sound like yor from Landan!?”

The narrative structure and pacing of the film can feel a little bit inconsistent at times – not knowing whether it’s a dark comedy, horror, or romance (or able to find a balance between all three) which results in something of a rocky ride. At times we’re given a backdrop to Jerry’s character with the impression of further revelation but for some unknown reason it holds back and tries to take an ambiguous approach. It all feels a little confusing as to what the final product wants to be.

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That being said, this is still one of the most darkly funny and twisted movie’s I’ve seen for a long time and one I heavily suggest watching at the cinema. It also features one of the most infectious songs ever used in a film. A true rival to The Lego Movie‘s “Everything is Awesome” (Both songs will leave you doomed to singing them for weeks.) As I’ve mentioned before it’s not a film for everyone – especially those faint of heart but if you’re a fan of Ryan Reynolds, weird quirky comedy horror, or talking animals, puppets, and heads… then this film is for you.

3 and a half Tupperware Boxes out of 5

by Simon Garganera Price

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