CVIndependent

Sun04192015

Last updateWed, 27 Aug 2014 10am

DVDs/Home Viewing

Ryan Reynolds goes full-on insane for The Voices, a funny, gory and bizarre offering from director Marjane Satrapi, who directed the animated film Persepolis. Let it be said that The Voices is about as far away from Persepolis as cinematically possible—this is what I would call a major departure.

Reynolds plays Jerry, a factory worker with a sad past involving his mom and sock puppets. Jerry has voices in his head—well, sort of: He hears them coming out of the mouths of his cat and dog.

Jerry, after some time in an institution, is trying to assimilate back into society with the help of a kind therapist (Jacki Weaver). He starts by trying to ask out Fiona (Gemma Arterton), a girl at the office. Things don’t go so well—and Fiona’s body parts wind up in some Tupperware, with her head residing in his refrigerator.

That head has frequent conversations with Jerry, and they are quite upbeat, all things considered. Credit goes to Atherton for making Fiona a memorable, funny character, even if she’s just a severed head.

Thanks to some goading from the pets (who are brilliantly voiced by Reynolds), Jerry seeks new victims. While searching, he falls in love with Lisa (Anna Kendrick), another girl from the office. They have a couple of nice moments together, and then, well … Fiona gets a friend in the refrigerator.

While it is funny, The Voices is also genuinely scary. While much of the film is seen through Jerry’s eyes while he’s on medication—his apartment is very organized, and his pets are loyal—things change when he goes off the meds. We see his world the way it really is, with rotting body parts in the living room, severed heads that aren’t all made up and smiley, and pets that would rather be elsewhere.

Reynolds is terrific, fully committed and crazy. The women in the cast do a great job of making their characters much more than screaming victims. Arterton and Kendrick know how to do happy-creepy. Their refrigerated heads provide many awkward chills—no pun intended.

Special Features: You get a bunch of behind-the-scenes featurettes along with some deleted scenes.

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