The office pool girls are losing their heads over the new lovelorn employee.
At the premiere of the 2001 film ‘Cats & Dogs’ a family friendly summer blockbuster the audiences were split into two cinemas – one for dog lovers and the other for cat fans although both ended up seeing the same version of the film. Perhaps it was because cats were portrayed as the villains that they kept the audiences apart but in ‘The Voices’ it’s a cat that once again is the villain of the piece. This was a script from the annual Hollywood blacklist of films that though deemed good were unlikely to get made but ‘The Voices’ is one of the few that’s bucked the trend.
With Ryan Reynolds as a seemingly good natured warehouse worker with a crush on one of the office girls played by Gemma Atterton things aren’t what they seem when his mental health problems, left untreated by his refusal to take his medication, are worsened when he believes his cat and dog are talking to him and giving him less than suitable advice on his relationship problems. It all goes awry when he’s stood up for a date and things get bloody.
Much like ‘An American Werewolf in London’ this veers between laugh out loud moments and grim bloodletting to make a slightly uneven black comedy with some quite unsettling flashback scenes to Reynolds characters childhood which seeks to explain his behaviour. Ryan Reynolds is something of a revelation as the sweet faced worker unable to understand his murderous actions. But the real star is undoubtedly a cat. Cat’s rarely seem to have good PR in films and this is no exception as the ginger tom hilariously spews bilious profanities like a potty mouthed Shrek urging him on to ever more slaughter whist the dog poses as the voice of reason as the heads of his victims stack up in his fridge who themselves urge him on to kill for company.
Director Marjane Satrapi whose previous animation was ‘Persepolis’ an animated Iranian coming of age film and this is a world away from the her Oscar nominated debut with the occasional animated flourish but ultimately this is a quirky and original film destined for cult status
Words: Simon Hooper