Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Voices

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I hear voices...but only when people around me are making them.

The Voices – 5 out of 5

Dark comedies are a hard sell to a lot of people. For some reason, people are not fans of darker humor that often involves death or the things that people say you’re "not suppose to joke about." I’ve never been in that camp. I’ve always been about the dark humor and the stuff that offends (of course, there is a line. Offensive to just be offensive comes off as desperate). When I heard about The Voices, the concept immediately sold me and I was very excited for it to be released on DVD.

The DVD's need to come with a pink jumpsuit.  Just sayin'.

Seriously, I want one of those pink jumpsuits.
Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) has a traumatic past but he seems to be getting over that as an adult thanks to a shrink (Jacki Weaver) and a great job at a bathtub factory. He is suppose to be taking medication to control the voices he hears and hallucinations he suffers from but when you can engage in a conversation with your pets the way Jerry does, it makes the idea of meds that take that all away seem like a horrible idea. At his job, a young girl in the office named Fiona (Gemma Arterton) grabs his fancy and he eventually gets to spend some time with her. Unfortunately, that night ends badly and he accidentally kills her. Since Jerry isn’t in the best mental state, he is convinced by his pets, the cat Mr. Whiskers and the dog Bosco, to dismember Fiona’s body and keep her head in the fridge…where he sees her speaking to him. Soon, however, Jerry finds himself at a crossroads where he could start a normal life with another employee who is very attracted to him (Anna Kendrick) or fall further down the hole of insanity and become a serial killer.

Cats already kill for the fuck of it...why not try to convince others to do the same?

I flat out LOVED The Voices! The film was so entertaining and perfectly mixed the humor, the drama and the horror aspects of it. One thing that is incredibly difficult to pull off with dark humor stories is stopping chaotic and jarring shifts in tone. Very often a dark comedy will be darkly hilarious for moments and then suddenly slip into horror zones, supernatural zones, and/or dramatic zones with no real blending. It will suddenly, like a Bruce Lee chop through suckas, fly from one tone to the next. Sometimes it is a single shift from comedy to drama or comedy to horror and, other times, it is a constantly shifting tone and it appears the film has no clue what genre it wants to belong it. The Voices did not have this problem at all thanks to director Marjane Satrapi seamlessly integrating the tones and keeping the story flowing. 

The only thing that bothered me about this film was the fact that no karaoke night
is ever this populated and rarely do people in the bar pay any attention to the singer.

The film ends a lot less funny than when it started (that doesn’t included the awesome and hilarious musical piece during the credits) as the film shifts from a quirky dude who talks to his cat and dog to a guy losing his mind and accidentally falling into a chasm that is forcing him to hurt and kill people. This shift isn’t a bad thing at all because the film flows fluidly and the progression feels natural. The film is hysterical at the beginning and I loved the silliness of it but I also loved the drama and tension the film slowly mixes in. The way these elements came together and the comedy was slowly overpowered by a more serious, and even darker, atmosphere was engaging, interesting and happened at such a gradual and natural pace that it never felt out-of-place or jarring. It felt like a natural evolution and it was glorious.

Well, this seems to be unconventional therapy but okay.

The story, like the tone of the film, is a lot of fun and very entertaining. The concept of a guy who hallucinates (but in a more believable and less cartoonish way) and has discussions with his pets is pretty simple but incredible effective. There have been plenty of movies that center around characters who have very loose grips on reality but his film was able to take that formula and make it dance with hilarious moments, incredible drama, and a horror film type of belonging. The plot, additionally, moves along fluidly and never lets up on any of the intrigue, comedy or drama. It’s telling a complete story that never lets up, drags, or has any sequence that feels superfluous or unneeded. Writer Michael R. Perry wrote a story that is stupidly solid and works amazingly.

Admit it, we all would like our dogs to talk to us.

Finally, the cast is impeccable as all hell in The Voices. Anna Kendrick is her usual adorable sense, Jacki Weaver has some fantastic moments with Reynolds as Jerry’s therapist, and, even though I’m not the biggest fan of Gemma Arterton, I really enjoyed her as Fiona and she made me laugh quite a bit—especially when she is nothing more than a talking decapitated head after Jerry accidentally kills her. As good as these parts were, I felt no part was as amazing as Ryan Reynolds.

Look at that cast!

Reynolds is an incredibly talented actor who has come a long way from his days on Van Wilder. The guy has acting chops that sprout further than just some bad sex comedy jokes and has proven that he can be a comedic force but also an action and a dramatic one as well (and he's only getting better as time goes by). I have to say that his performance in The Voices might be the best thing I’ve ever seen from him so far (Deadpool isn’t out yet, so I won’t count my chickens before they hatch…but there’s a real chance that will be the greatest thing he’ll ever be in!). 
Goddammit, Reynolds!  Stop being so talented!

Reynolds played Jerry (and provided the voices for the animals he spoke with—which is another thing I loved about the film) exceptionally well. Reynolds knew how to hit all the funny parts, he mastered the dramatic scenes and, overall, made the character a broken and sympathetic one. Yes, Jerry’s mind was busted and he was doing terrible things but you knew Jerry wasn’t evil. Jerry’s story is a bittersweet one that involves a man who is a bit adorable and with a whole lot of tragedy mixed in. It would be a hard character to play. How do you make a man filled with delusions that ends up hurting and killing people but, ultimately, wants to just be loved and be happy be a character that you can simultaneous laugh at and feel sorry for—and THEN, feel relief for when he finally finds his happy place and is free from his tortured mind? That’s no easy feat but, dammit, Ryan Reynolds make it look like it was and it was fucking flawless!

That's the same face I'm going to make when I see Deadpool.  I'm very excited for
that one, Reynolds.  I'm not entirely sure why I addressed my excitement specifically
towards you since you'll never read this.

The Voices is just amazing and I absolutely was enthralled with it. Aside from a great story and superior acting from the lead and the entire cast, the film contains gorgeous visuals from director Marjane Satrapi that mingle unbelievably well with the humorous, terrifying and dramatic story. Simply put, I loved every second of The Voices.

1 comment:

  1. Love the review, I also loved the film.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.