Sound of My Voice Movie Review

Atmospheric and thought provoking, this downbeat thriller holds our attention with an offbeat story and gently shaded characters. It never really goes anywhere, but the twists and turns of the plot are cleverly unsettling.

Peter and Lorna (Denham and Vicius) head off to a top-secret location where they are initiated into a cult led by Maggie (Marling), who claims to have travelled back from the year 2054. But Peter and Lorna have a secret: they're collecting material to debunk Maggie and her followers as a nutty apocalyptic cult. Then Maggie starts getting under their skin, as the cynical Peter finds himself wondering about the impact of his painful childhood and the addictive Lorna gets sucked in deeper than she expects.

Director Batmanglij shoots and edits like it's a lo-fi science fiction movie, with white walls and hospital gowns (to protect the Maggie's depleted immune system). The secret gatherings are in an over-lit windowless basement complete with a greenhouse to produce Maggie's food. Then one of Maggie's followers produces a pistol. And Maggie asks Peter to bring her a young girl (Pohl). And there's also a mysterious woman (McFadden) who seems to be on everyone's trail.

All of these things raise big issues that the filmmakers seem unable, or perhaps unwilling, to explore. Issues of child abuse echo loudly around the edges, implying the source of the characters' steel-edged fragility, but this idea is only ever used to make us question each person's motivation, not to drive the story forward. And while the time-travel subject matter has plenty of in-built intrigue, at least the filmmakers keep it alluringly out of reach as a plot point.

All of this gives director Batmanglij plenty to tease us with, as the connections between various characters twist and turn right to the abrupt final scene. The cast is terrific at layering in tiny quirks that maintain our scepticism, with Denham and Vicius especially effective at playing people who aren't quite sure who their partner is. Or who they are themselves. Opposite them, Marling comes across rather condescending and creepy, but then that's what gives the whole film a necessary jolt of uncomfortable energy.

Cast & Crew

Director : Zal Batmanglij

Producer : , Hans C. Ritter, Shelley Surpin

Starring : , , , Davenia McFadden, Avery Pohl, Kandice Stroh, Richard Wharton, Alvin Lam


Comments

Sound of My Voice Rating

" OK "

Rating: 15, 2011

Editors Recommendations

Is The Cannes Palme d'Or Heading David Cronenberg’s Way for 'Map to the Stars'?

The Cannes Film festival is sneaking up fast. The Oscars felt like they were 8 minutes ago...

Is The Cannes Palme d'Or Heading David Cronenberg’s Way for 'Map to the Stars'?

CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return of Outkast

Next weekend's CounterPoint Festival will be the event's first year at a new 5000-acre site, featuring...

CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return of Outkast

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' - Not Perfect, But Really, Really Fun

Superhero movies have been striving towards the almost unobtainable goal set...

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' - Not Perfect, But Really, Really Fun

Ricky Gervais is "Hooked" on David Brent Again - Former Paper Merchant To Return

A return for David Brent has been mooted ever since the character was wheeled...

Ricky Gervais is

This Labor Day, Jay Z Is Bringing "Made In America" To Downtown Los Angeles

Jay Z and the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti have announced that the rapper’s...

This Labor Day, Jay Z Is Bringing

Anna Wintour wants 'more exclusive' Met Ball 2014

The editor-in-chief of US VOGUE magazine is reportedly determined for the annual...

Anna Wintour - Anna Wintour wants 'more exclusive' Met Ball 2014

'Mrs Doubtfire' Sequel Will Be Made 21 Years After The Original

The comedy classic 'Mrs. Doubtfire' is reportedly set to return to the big-screen...

'Mrs Doubtfire' Sequel Will Be Made 21 Years After The Original

'Of Mice And Men' Brings Out Broadway Talents Of James Franco, Chris O'Dowd

Of Mice And Men premiered on Broadway last night, giving critics a chance to cast...

'Of Mice And Men' Brings Out Broadway Talents Of James Franco, Chris O'Dowd

Sofia Vergara On Her Menage a Trois in Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo'

Sofia Vergara has been speaking about her nerves at shooting a ménage a trois with...

Sofia Vergara On Her Menage a Trois in Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo'


More recommendations