Monday, March 2, 2015

Voices (2015)

A mild-mannered employee of a bathtub manufacturing company enjoys the simple things in life, like small talk with co-workers, obliviously overlooking flirtatious remarks from the cute girl in accounting, planning parties for work, and spending time with his dog and cat. He is a simple man with simple interests... and a psychotic schizophrenic with violent tendencies.

He also blames it on the cat...

Ryan Reynolds really surprised me in this film with his acting range and his stunning physical transformation from ripped guy to seemingly meek introvert. Considering the latest photos I've seen of his preparation for "Deadpool" in 2016, this movie is like watching a Ryan Reynolds from 10 years ago if he hadn't been weight training for Blade: Trinity, yet this movie was only just released. In a fitting personality to this new image, he comes across brilliantly as a genuinely shy, considerate lunatic. Early on in the film it kind of reminds me of an awkward chick-flick that one would expect to slowly develop into a deep, romantic love story, but it soon becomes apparent that he is far too awkward and those innocent, "doofus" moments begin to shine light on much deeper issues.

When we first see him talking to his animals it's almost in a funny, "Homeward Bound" kind of way - until the foul-mouthed feline begins to speak. This cat is obnoxious, vulgar, disgusting and only a fraction of the disturbed side of Ryan Reynolds' character. As the animals are meant to represent the different sides of his personality, Ryan Reynolds thought that he should do the voice acting for them, which the movie creators agreed was a good idea. I agree as well, and actually found it quite impressive on his part. The dog kind of sounds like John Wayne and provides a little humor in an otherwise incredibly dark and twisted film.

Getting more into the story itself, we learn that Ryan's character inherited his mental disorder from his mother, whom he was asked to help in committing suicide when he was no more than 10 years old. Now that he has grown up, he sees a shrink as a part of his agreement with the court to avoid being institutionalized. As the plot unfolds, it becomes clear that he has no interest in taking his medication and instead chooses to see life as the perfect, simple existence he wants it to be instead of the dark, disgusting madhouse it has become. This clear contradictory border between fantasy and reality is glimpsed at when Ryan's character takes his pills for the first time, and it becomes apparent to the audience that this is not the cute, simple dork that has been presented to us, and his surroundings are far from simple or perfect.

The murders are gross, haphazard, infantile and really disturbing. While the acting was brilliant all around, it almost came across "too real" if that makes sense. I mean this movie really takes us into the psyche of a serial killer and at times made me a little uncomfortable to watch. I've seen some really gory horror movies and I've seen some really funny movies but I've never seen a really good, funny actor start a movie as a funny character and transform into such a disturbed, murderous psychopath like I have in this movie. It's like watching Don Knotts portray Hannibal, or Gene Wilder portray Freddy Krueger. There's just something that happens in the brain when you're watching someone you've always seen portrayed comedically committing such horrendous acts... it just doesn't sit right.

The conflict of emotions I have about this movie only makes me praise it more. I like the fact that I didn't know what was going to happen, and literally no one was safe. Anything could happen and when it did, I always either laughed or cringed. It was a rollercoaster of a black comedy and I can't help but get in line again. I like the actors. I like the genre. I always like the idea of mixing genres, especially when they're my two favorite genres. If I had a complaint it would be the ending. I usually spoil the endings when I do these things. Hmm... am I going soft on you guys? :-)

3 out of 4.

Whether you're hanging out with friends or just need something to watch on a rainy day, give this movie a watch. You will definitely be entertained. Just don't watch it on a first date... might come off kind of creepy...

Cheers and goodnight.

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