Is it odd that Ryan Reynold’s first truly likable character in years is a serial killer? We most often find Reynold’s playing arrogant douche bags in lame comedies, the less said about Green Lantern the better, so it was for me a nice surprise to see him playing such a quiet and immensely likable character. Doubly surprising to find it in a movie like The Voices, a wonderfully dark comedy.
Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is a sweet and genial worker at a small town bathtub manufacturer; most of his co-workers find him a bit odd but as he is new in town no one has really got a chance to get to know him yet. Lisa (Anna Kendrick) in accounting finds him charming and would definitely like to know him better but Jerry only has eyes for office hottie Fiona (Gemma Arterton), the one dissenting voice in all this is Mr. Whiskers who happens to be Jerry’s cat.
You see Jerry hears voices with his cat Mr. Whiskers and his dog Bosco kind of working as the angel and devil of Jerry’s consciousness. Bosco thinks Jerry is a “Good Boy” while Mr. Whiskers wants Jerry to embrace the joys of being evil and it’s these two opposing viewpoints that are the crux of Jerry’s problems. Now this isn’t Look Who’s Talking Now or Dr. Dolittle as there is nothing magical or whimsical about this, Jerry is seriously mentally ill and has a court appointed psychiatrist (Jacki Weaver) and regimen of medication he is supposed to be taking. Unfortunately when Jerry takes his meds he sees how horrible his life really is but when he’s off his meds it’s almost like living in a Disney cartoon. It’s no surprise that the cat is all for him not taking his medication.
Things take a dark turn when one night ends with Jerry “accidentally” stabbing Fiona to death in the woods. Under the advice of Mr. Whiskers he retrieves her body, cuts it up into little pieces and stores them in Tupperware containers. I’ve seen some pretty disturbing images in my years of watching horror movies but this wall of bloody body parts was truly chilling.
The balance of horror and dark comedy is handled brilliantly by director Marjane Satrapi as is the performance by Ryan Reynolds who manages to keep the viewer caring for this poor sap even after the bodies start piling up and the fridge starts filling with severed heads.
The Voices is a true gem chock full of well-rounded characters and solid performances by everyone involved with a special shout out to Ryan Reynolds for providing all the “Voices” which I certainly didn’t realize until I watched the end credits. This movie was released On Demand as well as in theatres on Feb 6 2015 and it’s just a shame this movie wasn’t given a more traditional release. It would have been a nice opposing choice of Valentine’s Day films to Fifty Shades of Grey.