Synopsis – A dark comedy about a likeable guy pursuing his office crush with the help of his evil talking pets – but things turn sinister when she stands him up for a date.
My Take – Am I the only one who acknowledges the fact Ryan Reynolds is awesome? Sure he has made some bad choices (or his agent’s choices) to star in some big budget crap fests like Green Lantern, R.I.P.D or X-Men Origins : Wolverine, but does that hamper his potential of being a great actor? Unfortunately in Hollywood, yes! If you give 2-3 flops in row, your done! I’ve always liked Ryan Reynolds starting with his early Canadian work but as the opening scene rolled in, even in a million years I didn’t picture him in this kind of role. What a wonderful surprise! Being a huge Reynolds’ fan, my thoughts when watching this film were in contrast to every other film Ryan has been in, this was a Ryan we had never seen before! The story follows a mentally disturbed young man Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) who works at the packing and shipping division of a latrine company. The moment he meets the sexy British girl from accounting, Fiona (Gemma Arterton), he immediately falls in love. On his casual stroll to meet Fiona at the accounting office, he also meets her co worker Lisa (Anna Kendrick). He goes home and shares his thoughts with his pets, the loyal Bosco the dog and the evil Mr. Whiskers the cat (Both voiced by Ryan Reynolds).
One day Jerry asks Fiona on a date at a Chinese restaurant. Fiona softly avoids his request by messaging his phone & instead heads for karaoke with her female colleagues. But on her way home Fiona finds her car is broken and accidentally runs into Jerry, who decided to give her a lift. On their way to her home, but on the road a deer randomly crosses the road and crashes into Jerry’s car. His condition kicks in, making Jerry kill the deer. Fiona runs in fear and Jerry catches her and accidentally kills her. At his pets’ suggestion, Jerry returns the next day and chops down Fiona’s body to little pieces. From here on we are send down into a hilarious & disturbing road into the life of Jerry as both his cat and dog try to persuade him to do certain good or not so good things. This is an empathetic film, but first and foremost it’s insanely funny. My major take-away from it, even though I am an avid cat lover: never trust a cat. The story nicely balances the weight between the comedy and the horror elements. It starts out modest enough as another small town factory worker tale but then it kind of slams the main issue just as the main character goes home and speaks with his pets. Though it doesn’t have any significant twist or turn, making the story quite predictable, but it kind of finishes the movie well enough by having the lead character to take the right choice. Gemma Arterton joins Mr Whiskers and Bosco in some of the most entertaining internal conflicts to be shown on screen in years. Mr Whiskers hilariously confirms our deepest and darkest fears about cats while Bosco is the voice of reason. Let’s be clear about this, Jerry is deeply disturbed and he needs help but that doesn’t keep you from being sucked into his strange world. His life in the real world at the bathtub factory hides a whole lot of crazy going on in his head. Jerry at his core is happy there and he likes his co workers, too bad about the little accident that starts it all going down hill. The acting overall is really good. Ryan Reynolds is indeed brilliant for his three parts in this movie; as Jerry himself, and as the voice actors for Jerry’s pets Mr. Whiskers and Bosco. He does an excellent job in depicting the three different characters and coming up with the different voices, frankly which I hadn’t noticed until the end credits rolled in.
This may actually be Ryan Reynolds’ best performance! As a huge Reynolds’ fan, my thoughts when watching this film were that, in contrast to every other film Ryan has made, this was a Ryan we had never seen before. I have never been unhappy with Ryan’s work, but after watching this film, it makes me sad to see such potential going to waste. Gemma Arterton played just enough to add the hottie angle to the story. Anna Kendrick is likeable. Yes! the movie has its fair share of negatives, as the film caters to a niche audience of people who enjoy dark comedies or a twist of horror & comedy! The gross horror lingers in your mind when the movie is being comedic (maybe thats how it supposed to be?). Some may even not like the fact that the source of the humor is mainly focused on the voices inside Jerry’s head. The thing with Mr. Whiskers who speaks as the Scottish gangster type versus Bosco who speaks as the retarded but pure and honest Southerner makes the dialog between Jerry and them very funny, but some may even find that tiresome after a while. Even the whole angle of Jerry’s childhood seemed unnecessary (in my opinion). Nevertheless, ‘The Voices’ is a tremendously interesting film that definitely keeps your attention the entire time. It manages to make you laugh & empathize with the lead at the same time. I would say its a must see for anyone who enjoys dark comedies, at least once!
Director – Marjane Satrapi
Rated – R
Run Time – 103 minutes