Hello, dear readers, this week I bring you a movie that rides the line of horror and comedy in the best way. The Voices, brings the world of a schizophrenic that lives in our world, but views it through the lens of his own mind. This movie will have you laughing, on the edge of you seat, and shedding a tear all at once. It’s a roller coaster of a movie and total head trip.

The Breakdown

Plot:

The movie follows our lead guy, Jerry (Ryan Reynolds), and his life working in a bathroom fixture factory. It starts off in a strange, dreamy sense with all of the colors being very vivid and everything flowing along like clockwork. Jerry is a new employee at his factory and seems very likeable and sweet. His boss asks him to help plan the company party for next week and he happily agrees. We then see Jerry visiting a court appointed psychologist. This is the first flag we get that everything is definitely not okay with Jerry.

While planning the party for work he meets a beautiful woman, Fiona (Gemma Arterton), and falls for her immediately. Jerry is a bit awkward and Fiona doesn’t feel the same for him and when he asks her out, she declines by leaving him a voicemail and then goes out with her friends. Jerry believes he’s been completely stood up, not having received the voicemail, and is notably upset. However, later that night Fiona’s car refuses to start and Jerry, who happens to pass by, decides to give her a ride. While the two are driving and talking a deer runs in front of the truck and smashes through the windshield. Jerry believes the deer to be talking to him, telling him that it’s suffering and it wants Jerry to kill it. Jerry pulls out a large knife and slits it’s throat right in front of Fiona, which naturally freaks her out and she takes off running in to the woods. Jerry pursues her and, “accidentally,” falls on top of her, driving the knife deep in to her side.

Again, Jerry believes her to be suffering so he stabs her several more times in the chest, killing her. This is where the movie really starts to head in to dark territory. Upon returning to his apartment, which is above a bowling alley, his pets begin to speak to him as well. His dog, Bosco, seems to be the “good,” side of him, giving him advice like that he should turn himself in to the police before things get worse. His cat, Mr. Whiskers, is his darker side, saying that Jerry needs to hide the body and embrace his newfound hobby and kill even more people. Jerry does retrieve Fiona’s body from the woods and cuts her in to many pieces, storing them in food containers, except for her head. Her head gets set in the fridge where it too begins to talk to him.

Upon seeing his psychologist again and more convincing from Fiona’s dismembered head, Jerry decides to take his prescribed medication that is meant to bring him in to “reality,” and out of his head. What we are shown is the true sadness of his life. What was a bright, neat apartment melts in to a dirty, molded, dark hovel. There is food and trash littering the floor as well as blood and body parts from poor Fiona. Mr. Whiskers and Bosco no longer speak, leaving Jerry feeling alone and sad. The pressure of his world overwhelms him and he vomits the medication up and dumps the rest of it. The next day he is back to his bright and happy world and we understand why he shies away from his meds. Later that day he visits the office where Fiona worked and asks out another woman, Lisa (Anna Kendrick) with plans to kill her and give Fiona a “friend.”

During their date, Jerry takes them to his old house where we see a flashback to his childhood. His mother suffered the same kind of schizophrenia as he now does. Threatened with being hauled back to an asylum, she begs Jerry to end her suffering and to slit her throat. Reluctantly, the young Jerry does just that and again we begin to understand his inner workings that much more. Jerry doesn’t tell this story to Lisa, but begins to break down. Lisa embraces him and Jerry decides that he’s not going to kill her, but go home with her. The next day we see that people have started asking questions about where Fiona disappeared to. Jerry deflects most suspicion, but becomes aware that people now have their eyes on him. In light of this, Lisa decides to surprise Jerry at his house and cheer him up.

When she shows up Jerry accidentally locks himself outside, but knows a way to get in through the sunroof. Trying desperately to get Lisa to leave, he climbs to the roof and bids her goodnight, but Lisa insists on opening the door for him herself. She picks the lock and opens the door to find the real apartment behind it, blood, mold, and dankness in all its glory. Knowing that she’s seen too much, Jerry realizes what he must do. However, in a small struggle he pushes Lisa back on to a bed where she busts her head against a pipe, which causes her death.

Jerry breaks out his saw once again and Fiona gets the friend she was hoping for. Things begin to move more quickly after this and another office worker, Alison (Ella Smith) shows up to Jerry’s house to check on Lisa. She, of course, meets the same refrigerated fate. Feeling even more conflicted about what he’s doing, Jerry decides it’s time to stop listening to his dog and cat and visit his psychologist. After kidnapping her and having a short talk, Jerry is assured that everyone has a sort of voice in their head, but it’s how you respond to that voice that makes you the person you are. While Jerry is away, more office workers show up and find the grisly scene in his apartment. The police wait for Jerry to return and get inside with his psychologist before surrounding the place. In an attempt to escape, he climbs down a passage in his bathroom to the bowling alley below, however in the process he breaks a gas line, which shortly after explodes and catches the building on fire.

Downstairs, Jerry is left with a choice of either fleeing outside and in to the police or laying down where he is and giving up his life. Feeling completely defeated and ready, Jerry lays his head down on the polished wood of a lane and allows the flames to consume him. A somber ending indeed, but it doesn’t end there! We get a final scene of Jerry being in a sort of Heaven with Fiona, Lisa, Alison, and even Jesus (Michael Pink)! And what should a final scene like this be? A musical number, of course! A strange and bittersweet end to a strange and bittersweet movie.

Acting:

Everyone really pulls their weight in this movie and I was consistently surprised by how many big name actors were actually in it. Ryan Reynolds is, of course, absolutely top notch. If you don’t know by now, he is also playing Wade Wilson in the new Deadpool movie and this movie is a testament to why. Reynolds plays an amazing broken person with that comedic twist. He is great at having you sobbing on moment and laughing the next. This is a very sensitive subject and I feel like he played it with the upmost respect and understanding that this man’s life, though strange and violent, isn’t something to simply make fun of or laugh at.

Visuals:

There wasn’t much to the visual aspect of this movie other than the use of color saturation to differentiate the realities. It was a few subtle things like that which did add to the overall movie. Sometimes, less is just more.

What Say I:

The Voices is a new take on an old trope of a schizophrenic murderer. However, instead of just leaving him as a deranged monster, Jerry is given character and life. I feel like it’s still problematic, but it’s trying to show that people are the way they are because of a combination of things that in their control and out of their control. No one can completely form who they are as a person themselves. It’s a good story with great acting and I definitely recommend you give it a watch.

Credits & Other Stuff:

Writer: Michael R. Perry
Director: Marjane Satrapi

Trailer for, The Voices.

About The Author

A graduate in Creative Writing, I love horror, scifi, action, and revenge movies, but b-movies hold a special place in my heart.

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