I wasn’t too sure what to expect of this film, I had seen the trailer and knew I wanted to see it but I was all too aware of the potential stinker it could be. Turns out I was wrong to be so cynical, The Voices is a lot deeper than the trailer gives away. It’s a dark comedy with heart.
Ryan Reynolds plays Jerry, a man with a severe mental illness, which is never disclosed but I assume to be schizophrenia, it is revealed that Jerry’s mother suffered from a similar condition.
He works at a bathtub factory and is a likeable, if a bit odd, guy. He’s in love with the office hottie Fiona, played brilliantly by Gemma Arterton and she inadvertently becomes Jerry’s first victim. The interesting thing about Jerry’s first killing is that it wasn’t intentional, or was it? It’s a brutal and sad scene that really sets up the rest of the film.
Jerry hears voices, his cat and dog speak to him, Reynolds voice’s them both using different accents and at times it’s hilarious. His dog Bosco sees the good in Jerry and cares about his wellbeing, whereas the cat, Mr Whiskers, well, he’s an asshole. He’s the devil to the dogs angel, both giving Jerry advice.
When it comes to the medication side of things Jerry displays the very real and hard decision to either take his pills and become a lonely guy or not take his pills and continue to live in his fantasy life where his pets talk to him and his house is tidy and clean, this is a life he can deal with. His life on medication leaves him feeling lonely as he has no friends, just his pets. Until he meets Lisa (Anna Kendrick) a woman that works in the office with Fiona and who is herself a bit of an oddball. She and Jerry really click and while I’m not a huge fan of Kendrick, she’s enjoyable in The Voices, she’s the sweet girl we all want Jerry to end up with.
The Voices is a strange beast because it’s able to mix comedy and pathos, surrealism and tenderness, it’s a sad story really and it does shine a light on mental illness and the very real fight for sanity. I’d certainly watch it again and I think it’s another of the quality Ryan Reynolds films and should not be ignored.