The Voices

by Michael Cox

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday April 22, 2015

The Voices

A criminologist told screenwriter Michael R. Perry that in order to catch a serial killer one had to imagine the movie the murderer created in his mind. So what does it look like inside the head of someone like Ted Bundy or Gary Gilmore? For the schizophrenic protagonist of "The Voices," Jerry (Ryan Reynolds), it's very colorful.

The coveralls he wears at his job in the bathtub factory are Pepto-Bismol pink and happy, little butterflies flit around him. In fact the world doesn't look ugly until he follows the advice of his court-appointed psychiatrist (Academy Award nominated actress Jacki Weaver, "Silver Linings Playbook," "Animal Kingdom") and starts taking his medicine.

The angel and devil on his shoulders are conversely his dog Bosco and his cat Mr. Whiskers. Bosco is a slightly-dopy Southern gentleman and his cat is Scottish. (Some talented CGI and the amazing vocal talents of Reynolds make all the talking animals in this film possible and fit so nicely into the concept of hearing "voices" in one's head.)

Jerry would never do anything malicious or ill-intended; his first murder is really just a terrible accident. While he's driving with a co-worker, Fiona (Gemma Arterton), he runs into a deer, and the animal begs him to put it out of its misery. But this terrifies Fiona and she just kind-of falls onto his knife. All the rest of the stabbing he does is -- like with the deer -- an act of mercy.

If "Serial Mom" hooked up with "A Clockwork Orange" and they spawned a "Rosemary's Baby" it would be "The Voices."

When Jerry meets a really great girl, Lisa (Anna Kendrick, "Into the Woods," "Happy Christmas"), his bad luck looks like it may change. But the severed head of Fiona in his refrigerator keeps harping on Jerry, literally, and she demands some company.

The Iranian-born, French director, illustrator and children's book author Marjane Satrapi ("Persepolis" and "Chicken with Plums") creates a visual spectacle that is disturbingly exuberant. If "Serial Mom" hooked up with "A Clockwork Orange" and they spawned a "Rosemary's Baby" it would be "The Voices."

The special features on this DVD take you behind the scenes to really look at all the work it took to build the visual effects and computer animation and to capture the voice work of Reynolds. Also included are deleted scenes, extended scenes, animatics and character/costumes sketches.

"The Voices"
Rated R / 103 min.