mon 23/10/2017

Sundance London 2014: The Voices | reviews, news & interviews

Sundance London 2014: The Voices

Sundance London 2014: The Voices

Ryan Reynolds excels in a killer comedy from Persepolis' Marjane Satrapi

Doctor Dolittle he most certainly ain't: Ryan Reynolds in 'The Voices'

It's been four years since Ryan Reynolds' one-man-show Buried, which saw the thesp prove his acting chops while six foot under in a box. The Voices gifts him a full and talented supporting cast but it's a film that he also shoulders, cast in a role which requires him to be both the good guy and the very, very bad guy - and the source of the titular voices - despite ostensibly playing just one part.

Working from a spiky script from Michael R. Perry (Paranormal Activity 2, TV's American Gothic), Marjane Satrapi's fourth film is almost cartoonish - which might seem fitting considering she's best known for the graphic-novel-sprung-to-screen Persepolis. Reynolds stars as the deeply disturbed Jerry; institutionalised as a boy, he's now working in a factory in the small American town of Milton, with his induction back into society overseen by a kindly, court-appointed psychiatrist (the wonderful Jacki Weaver).

His performance isn't all broad-brush comedy and crates-of-crazy, though

Sporting a pink boiler suit and a superficially sunny disposition Jerry epitomises the "he always seemed such a nice boy" serial-killer archetype. He develops a crush on Gemma Arterton's mean-spirited Fiona, oblivious to the interest of Anna Kendrick's more agreeable Lisa, and is noticeably delicate and anxious at work. His home-life, however, reveals an even more disturbing picture as he's stopped taking his meds and has started hearing voices.

Reynolds has fun in a role which requires him to hilariously voice his pets: an evil Scottish cat, who eggs him on to wickedness, and a large, dopey Southern American dawg, who acts as his conscience. His performance isn't all broad-brush comedy and crates-of-crazy, though - he draws out Jerry's fragility, the tragedy of his lonely existence and his childlikeness. Just like the town, he's frozen in a more innocent time - in his case before his first misdeed. The Voices swings from darkness to light and Satrapi fashions the delusions of a disturbed, fractured mind into something entertainingly amusing, visually striking and maniacal, even if ultimately she doesn't quite nail the balance between exploring Jerry's mental illness and mining it for tenebrous thrills.

Satrapi fashions the delusions of a disturbed, fractured mind into something entertainingly amusing

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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