Ryan Reynolds plays a man struggling with his schizophrenia in the dark comedy The Voices. Jerry (Reynolds) is a good natured guy, who works in a factory and has a crush on his co-worker Fiona (Gemma Arterton). However, the problem is that Jerry hears voices, which he perceives as coming from his cat Mr. Whiskers and his dog Bosko, who tell him to ignore the advice of his psychiatrist Dr. Warren (Jacki Weaver) and not take his medication. When Fiona stands Jerry up on a date, to go out with her co-workers Lisa (Anna Kendrick) and Alison (Ella Smith), it brings out a dark side of Jerry’s personality.
The most simple description of The Voices is that it is about a man, who perceives himself to be a good guy, but it quickly turns out that he is far from one. The film is a dark comedy, with heavy emphasis on the dark. There is some nasty and messed up stuff on display over the course of this film, even though Jerry’s deluded view of his life sugar coats his actions.
I’m not sure how far I should delve into the plot of The Voices, even though some aspects of the film that can be considered spoilerish are revealed in photos and even posters for the film. It is probably not too much of a spoiler to say that Jerry develops some murderous habits, with the severed heads of his victims joining the chorus of Jerry’s schizophrenic’s voices.
Ryan Reynolds portrays Jerry as a very meek person, who cannot believe that he is capable of doing terrible things. Reynolds also provides the voices of his talking animals, with the sinister Mr. Whiskers speaking in a Scottish accent and Bosko being the “gosh darn” voice of reason. Even though Jerry begins as a somewhat sympathetic character, it becomes a bit difficult to root for him when he starts crossing the line one too many times. At the very least, The Voices is a change of pace for Reynolds, who has had a rough few years as a Hollywood leading man.
Frankly, The Voices is a pretty messed up dark comedy, with many different changes in tone. It can be a hard film to enjoy when the lead character is both the protagonist and antagonist and there are really no other characters for the audience to latch on to. It is probably for this reason that the film decides to end with a musical curtain call, where the cast gathers together and “sings a happy song.”
Despite the flaws of The Voices, it is worth checking out for those who like to watch (very) dark comedies.
7 | FAIR
The Voices is now available for rent or purchase on VOD