Sound Of My Voice (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner03/08/2012

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 84 mins

Smartly written, well made and superbly acted indie thriller that makes the most of its low budget and confirms co-writer/star Brit Marling as a talent to watch, though it's slightly let down by a frustrating climax.

What's it all about?
Co-written and directed by Zal Batmanglij, Sound of My Voice stars Christopher Denham and Nicole Vicius as Peter and Lorna, two aspiring journalists who infiltrate a secret cult where the leader, Maggie (co-writer Brit Marling, who also co-wrote and starred in Another Earth) is a beautiful young woman who claims to be from the future. Is she a fraud or could she possibly be for real? And what's the significance of Abigail Pritchett (Avery Pohl), a reclusive young girl Peter encounters in his day job as a substitute teacher?

The Good
Brit Marling is terrific as Maggie, delivering all her lines in a measured, even tone in a manner that's as chilling and unsettling as it is relaxing. She also has creepily intense chemistry with Denham, which is used effectively in a key scene involving Peter's reluctance to engage in a group vomit session. Denham and Vicius are equally good and the dynamics of their relationship are sharply observed, creating a palpable tension as the cracks develop.

Batmanglij creates an extremely suspenseful atmosphere throughout, heightened by a fractured story structure (numbered sections that sometimes overlap) and some impressively claustrophobic camerawork from cinematographer Rachel Morrison. Thankfully, the film eschews the whole found footage idea, despite the fact that Peter is filming everything with a spy-cam embedded in his glasses; we're even spared a scene where they review their footage. The film has a great soundtrack and finds some intriguing uses for music, notably in a key scene where Maggie is asked to sing a song from her time.

The Bad
The main problem with the film is that, having laid an enormous amount of groundwork and raised several compelling questions, it then rushes towards a climax that succeeds on one level but also ends too abruptly, almost as if the film was a pilot for a new TV show. Instead, it feels like the film-makers ran out of money or, worse, couldn't be bothered to actually play out any of their carefully laid story strands.

Worth seeing?
This is a well made, sharply written low-budget thriller with terrific performances from its three leads. Worth seeing and it would play well as part of a cult-themed triple bill with Martha Marcy May Marlene and Electrick Children.

Be the first to review Sound Of My Voice...
image
01 Rurouni Kenshin 2: Kyoto Inferno (15)

Takeru Sato, Emi Takei, Tatsuya Fujiwara

image
02 Annie (tbc)

Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne

image
03 Paddington (PG)

Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins

image
04 Get Santa (tbc)

Jim Broadbent, Warwick Davis , Rafe Spall

image
05 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (12A)

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

Content updated: 25/11/2014 23:00

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (12A)

Jennifer Lawrence is back in the penultimate part of the spectacular Hunger Games series.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films