Movie Review - The Voices

This is proof positive that Ryan Reynolds, despite his handsome face and chiseled body, could work as a voice-over artist, and probably be somewhat successful. He walks around as a meek and meager, pink-wearing factory worker, possibly in middle America who lives above a bowling alley, awkward and unassuming. Yet, Reynolds provides the voices for several animated characters within this movie. To hear those voices and seeing them come from his own mouth might be ridiculous, but seeing it come from the mouths of animated characters, an animated cat and dog specifically, makes it work.

There is a great cast of women that are supporting characters. The best among them is probably Jacki Weaver who plays the therapist of Reynolds' character, Jerry. Written by Michael R. Perry, the script limits the scenes with the therapist so that there isn't a lot of digging into Jerry's past or how he was first diagnosed and then put into therapy. This movie references the character of Norman Bates from Psycho (1960), not only with a name-check but with suggestion of matricide, though it's a toss-up of why Jerry is crazy or when it first manifested.

In light of all the real-world tragedies and killings that are attributed to mental illness, this movie seems to be a relevant and seriocomic look at mental illness. However, the first murder that Jerry commits is depicted as almost an accident. It would have been better if this movie gave Jerry more of a motive.

Gemma Arterton co-stars as Fiona, a woman who works at the same company as Jerry. He develops a crush on her. He tries to go on a date with her but she blows him off. This sets the stage for why Jerry might kill her, but that's not the stage that Jerry takes. If you want to see a better movie that runs with that premise, check out Rubberneck (2013) by Alex Karpovsky from HBO's Girls.

Directed by Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis), there isn't a distinction of Jerry's delusions or hallucinations. He seems only to have his psychotic breaks at home and at certain moments. There's a weird consistency and inconsistency. He claims to be off his medication all the time, but his hallucinations aren't all the time and there's a wonder why. His brain seems to cover-up bad things, but that wouldn't explain his talking animals. It's somehow simply intriguing to watch and listen to Reynolds work as an actor here.

Three Stars out of Five.
Rated R for bloody violence, and for language including sexual references.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 43 mins.


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