“The Voices” is a pitch black comedy that showcases Ryan Reynolds at his best
Written by: Michael R. Perry
Directed by: Marjane Satrapi
Ryan Reynolds is having one hell of a year, so far in 2016. The star of “Deadpool” has watched his portrayal of the raunchy, comic book anti-hero vault him to the “A-list” status he has been close to for so long. It has shattered box office records, and it’s success has already guaranteed it a sequel. For me though it is Reynolds’ dark, off the beaten path performances that show the actor at his best. I have always pointed to his performance in the 2007 film “The Nines” as my hands down favorite. That may change, now that I have seen “The Voices”.
Jerry (Reynolds) is a slightly strange but charming factory worker, who doesn’t need much out of life to keep him happy. He gets pleasure from doing simple work and hanging out with his pets. With the approval of his psychiatrist, he even decides to pursue a beautiful co-worker (Arterton). Jerry has some… issues though and has all but completely lost his grip on reality. Things take a dark and sinister turn, when he accidentally kills his crush and puts her head in his fridge for safe keeping.
His evil cat and lovingly simple dog (who talk to him by the way) try to help him decide what to do in the aftermath of the killing, playing the proverbial angel and devil on his shoulder. Mr. Whiskers (the cat) suggest he give in to the killer within and go on a full fledged murdering spree, while Bosco (the dog) pleads with him to tell the police what happened and deal with the consequences. When the head of his former love interest Fiona sides with Mr. Whiskers, Jerry starts down the path to becoming a nice guy serial killer.
I loved this movie, and as I said before it might feature my new favorite Ryan Reynolds performance. Jerry is an extremely nuanced character, and Reynolds plays the role to perfection. Writer Michael R. Perry and director Marjane Satrapi created a story that perfectly balances darkness with humor and Reynolds, Arterton, and Anna Kendrick did the rest. The tone of the film and it’s visuals were also spot on.
Another thing I adored about “The Voices” was how Jerry’s imagining of his cat and dog’s personalities is a hilarious representation of how the animals behave in real life. While Bosco is slightly dimwitted and endlessly affectionate towards Jerry, Mr. Whiskers is often aloof and Doesn’t care at all about the approval of his owner… only that he gets his food. Most of my favorite scenes are with the three of them conversing in Jerry’s house (an old bowling alley).
Like I said, I loved this movie! It is weird, and funny, and brutal, and WEIRD! While I highly recommend it, it won’t be for everyone. The humor is the kind that most people will feel bad about laughing at. I still say it is a must watch, and as of this writing it is streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Go check it out!