The mix of genres is unique in itself.
The cast doesn't once disappoint!
It's equally as dark and disturbing as it is funny!
Some of the humour doesn't always hit the mark.
The ending is a little cliched.
Living with a mental illness is always hard, but nobody truly suffers so much as Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) – a happy go lucky chap, that happens to be a schizophrenic who hears voices. Two specific voices in fact – that of his benevolent dog, but also his homicidal pet cat. Serving as manifestations of both his good and bad sides, these two animals help to steer Jerry through the dichotomy and duality of self in his every day to day life as he fails to take his prescribed anti-psychotics.
This is especially important following a freak accident, in which Jerry accidentally kills one of his fellow office workers (Gemma Arterton)…and ends up talking to her dismembered head, which he ultimately stores in his fridge. Spurred on to acquire some friends for his new talking head, thus starts a murderous chain of events, which leads us on a fun and exciting adventure through the downright weird.
It’s a film that in every sense of the word, is somewhat ‘fucked up’. It’s weird, and wacky, bonkers and downright brutal, yet unequivocally engaging, witty, and hilarious! I wouldn’t have thought a film could encompass so many things, but it really does transcend genre as we know it. Is it comedy, is it thriller, is it horror? Is it all of the above and then some? It’s a film that doesn’t fit neatly into any one box, and I really wouldn’t have expected anything less from a director as talented and insightful as Marjane Satrapi.
On one hand, there’s this offhanded comedic element to it, especially in the form of the Scottish accented cat that keeps encouraging Jerry to kill, yet there’s also a grittier insight into a tragic backstory for Jerry, that helps to put some of his decisions and experiences into perspective. It’s not so much justifying his behaviour, as it is trying to explain it – and I think that was a really nice touch, because it humanised him and turned him into someone you could relate to. It’s a film that, at the risk of sounding sociopathic, makes you question how you’d react and respond in a similar situation! Although I have to say, storing bits of my kills in tupperware probably wouldn’t be my first reaction.
I do think as a film it fell short in a couple of places, but they’re fleeting scenes and the film as a whole is uniquely entertaining. It’s not what you’d necessarily expect when you go in to see it for the first time, and the fluidity with which it mixes genres is worth watching it for alone. It’s dark and twisty for the most part and while the ending does seem a little rushed and formulaic, it’s still very much a satisfying way to go. Not least because the credits involve a full cast, song and dance number and even include a dancing Jesus, so for the sheer shock factor, I’d recommend it.
You can check out The Voices this weekend at Sundance London; or you can wait with baited breath for an international release date!