Review: The Sound of My Voice

(Sound of My Voice poster image)

Sound of My Voice (2011) is a severely underpromoted/underrated film (5 Screens, 6.6/10 on IMDb/Metacritic, $36K-$405,614 U.S. gross), written by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij (director).  The R-rated film stars Christopher Denham (Peter Aitken), Nicole Vicius (Lorna Michaelson), Brit Marling (Maggie) and Richard Wharton (Klaus).

A woman with a criminal past that claims to be from the future (Maggie) leads a cult that requires its participants to be blindfolded and handcuffed during travel to the compound development—a development that’s claimed to be a safe haven for a pending civil war.  A male journalist (Peter) investigates, using a pair of glasses with camera and a transmitter, and his girlfriend (Lorna) plays along.  His transmitter gets lodged in his throat; with the recording method ruined, his evidence can now only be of the empirical sort.

The journalist is put in the position to where he must connect with the woman to get information out of her, but he lets her push his ‘virtual’ emotional buttons, and this shakes the relationship with his girlfriend.  His girlfriend tells him that she’s never seen him really cry, as he does during a ‘healing’/vomiting session.  With their own separate involvement in the case, anger and defensiveness flares.  They fight.

The man also works at the school that an odd little girl attends.  The cult leader claims this girl is…her mother.  This yields an operation that would eventually tear everything apart.  Without giving away the ending, the movie is no doubt one that’s hard to forget—one without big fireball explosions.

Well-acted, well-written, with a daring script, this movie is a classic with a fitting title that focuses more on the honest art and less on the sci-fi.  Grade: A-.

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