A movie that transcends genres, between horror & parody, you laugh in a flashy pink ambiance, with a mastered directing & Ryan Reynolds like you’ve never seen him before who (finally) demonstrates how talented he is.
On paper, this movie seems totally weird in a bad way: Ryan Reynolds, a speaking to a dog & a cat, all that wrapped up in a bloody thriller movie in a Broadway musical ambiance.
But when it could have been a huge catastrophy, it actually reveals to be simply brilliant. First & foremost, Ryan Reynolds is great, we became quite aware of his talent since his previous movie “Buried”. He is the one who got interested in the project & wanted to play Jerry Hickfang. He delivers to the director his performance on a silver platter to his director by improvisong a lot, being touching, creepy, funny at times. In two words, he is completely crazy! Being a real hardcore schizophrenic, he also manages to do the voices of his good conscience represented by his dog Bosco & his evil side personified by his cat M. Whiskers (as well as all the other animals of the movie). He even give to the cat a thick Scottish accent that he totally mastered, and he did it from his own initiative! (the director wanted to hire dubber actors to do it).
Gemma Arterton is also perfect, especially in the second half of the movie with her 50’s pin-up pouts, representing feminity (and sex!), creating the perfect balance with the “touching” asexual serial killer.
The screenplay is totally over-the-top but also smart & well written. It’s a controlled insanity, as the director is perfectly knowing where she wants to bring you. You experience Jerry’s mental illness with him: his-denial-life-through-rose-tinted glasses, his lucidity moments, his distress, his struggle to be good. Above all, you sympathize with this psychotic sociopath. You even manage to identify with him when his psychiatrist encourages you to ask yourself about your own inner voices. This movie is scary & funny at the same time. It’s efficient thanks to Marjane Satrapi’s directing (director of “Persepolis”). She had a blast doing the editing, switching from real world to fantasy, making some parodic genre references (focus on the lady’s boobs just before she gets stabbed), a unsual frame and her great photography. To sum up, a huge delirium !
Mini spoiler: the movie is worth watching just for the end credits… “Sing a happy song”.
Is it #Dudechick certified?
Completely crazy & funny! A one of a kind movie !
Focus on MARJANE SATRAPI
How did she end up directing “The Voices” ?
Through different projects, it was a bit random. She was at first, wrongly tagged as a specialist of kid or Muslim even though she is atheist. She, then, refused to direct “Maleficent”, and got asked to direct “The Voices”. She had to compete with 3 other directors who had worked on thriller movies before. She succeeded to get it but with a very tied budget of $11 millions and just 33 days to shoot it.
The challenge of filming animals :
The dog was very obedient but the cat was a challenge. It didn’t care at all about what it was told to do. The editor Stéphane Roche, shot the cat’s scenes separately at night with an empty stage. Adding to that, shooting with animals is extremely costly. You can hear the animals speak for 18 minutes in the movie but you can actually see them just for 4minutes30 representing 6 months of work! The director was almost heading the point of drugging the cat but thanksfully the producing team didn’t let her !
The end credits could have been totally different :
The song initially supposed to be used was too pricy because the rights were hold by the Jackson family who asked for $1 million. That is why “Sing a Happy Song” de The O’Jays was finally chosen for the modest price of only $7000 … And it’s just perfect !
image source: Le Pacte