In theatres this week from director Marjane Satrapi and Lionsgate is a surprise film that will lead you in with THE VOICES.
This film tells the story of Jerry (Ryan Reynolds), a man who works in a bathtub factory. He is usually in a happy mood and gets along relatively well with co-workers but he could really use a few good friends.
Seeing his psychiatrist Dr. Warren (Jacki Weaver) weekly, they discuss what goes on at work and at home. When he arrives home every night, Jerry is greeted by his pets. These are no ordinary pets; Mr. Whiskers is a cat with nothing but evil on his mind and distain in his voice. Also there is Bosco, Jerry’s loyal dog who wants only the best for his master.
But that’s the problem really. You see Jerry has a crush on Fiona (Gemma Arterton), and very deep crush. Trying to charm Fiona is often followed by a berating from Mr. Whiskers. When Jerry tries to show the young lady his feelings, well, things end up with a counter top full of Tupperware.
There is also Lisa (Anna Kendrick), a young woman who has more in common with Jerry and really likes him. She can’t seem to figure out Jerry but doesn’t mind trying to get to know him, which leads to time in the refrigerator.
Confused? Good, because that’s what happens when you hear voices!
FINAL WORD: Reynolds as Jerry is just amazing. This character brings out every raw emotion one could possibly have plus you can add inappropriate and nervous laughter. I use the word inappropriate but I’m sort of twisted like that so it’s all good with me.
Reynolds has this unique ability to perform with a straight face yet there is a twinkle in his eyes as if he knows something we don’t – and in this case it’s true. Jerry is diabolically sweet making it easy for the viewer to forget to be appalled by what is happening all around him. Reynolds found his rhythm with this role and it was music to my ears.
Arterton as Fiona really has some scene blocking to overcome in the film. Playing the nagging and little bit bitchy Fiona, I wasn’t sure whether I felt sorry for her predicament or not (this is where the inappropriate might fall into place) because what happens to her cracks me up totally!
Kendrick as Lisa is once again the sweet girl who is just looking for someone to love. A little bit sappy, it was nice to see that Jerry didn’t have one particular type. Kendrick portrays Lisa as sort of a female version of Jerry without the psychopath part. There is a spark between the two sharing personal issues but it isn’t quite enough. Weaver as Dr. Warren is a straight faced shrink who knows Jerry’s history and is trying to make sure he doesn’t fall back – literally.
The winner here is Mr. Whiskers! Of course I thought Boscoe was sweet but the one liners and no-shame evilness of Mr. Whiskers was hysterical beyond belief. The Scottish accent made me laugh even harder. This cat has no shame or guilt and Reynolds delivery of each of the fe-lines are delightful gems I will use often.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE VOICES four tubs of popcorn out of five. The premise of the film is quite simple – take your meds. Reynolds takes this role and twists it about as far as it can possibly go and then twists it again. Taking on the voices of Mr. Whiskers and Boscoe is a touch of brilliance.
I have seen some pretty crazy films that fall into this genre but it must be said that THE VOICES is an enjoyable on so many levels. The cast is amazing together and together they build a roller coaster of suspense in a film that deserves cult status.
Twisted and quirky causing me on more than one occasion to realize I had a quizzical look on my face. From beginning to end I laughed, jaw dropped and laughed even more. So if that’s the kind of psychological thriller comedy you like, then hit the theatres to see Ryan Reynolds in THE VOICES.
In the end – hearing voices can be murder!