Sound Of My Voice (2011)
Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius) are aspiring journalists who decide to infiltrate a cult and expose the leader Maggie (Brit Marling) as a fraud. However, once they begin interacting with Maggie and the other group members, the line between fact and fiction is blurred leaving Peter and Lorna to decipher what is true and what is a lie.
The writers are the real stars of this film. They crafted a serpentine plot that both withholds just enough information to make it interesting to the point that I couldn’t stop wondering what was going to happen next. By placing the characters of Peter and Lorna in such a potentially dangerous position it causes the viewers to always fear the characters being found out. Even the scenes where they went about their daily lives created an intense feeling of paranoia. Was someone watching them? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that it most definitely felt like it. This feeling creates a link to both Peter and Lorna that is powerful. I found myself caring about them in spite of their sometimes petulant behavior.
The director, Zal Batmanglij, shows us how potent the use of awkward silence can be. It feels as if he wields it like a weapon, especially in scenes where Maggie delves into the minds of her followers. There is something unnerving about her demeanor and how casually she cuts through years of mental scarring and roadblocks, exposing the vulnerable flesh beneath. This is all done in utter silence — except for the sound of Maggie’s voice.
This film does a superb job of splitting its audience down the middle. Is Maggie from the future? Is she the fraud Peter and Lorna are just desperate to expose? You are given enough information on both sides of the argument to formulate a response. In the end, it comes down to which characters story you choose to believe. I’ve always been a big fan of films that force their audience to argue their point of view, and because of that I recommend Sound of My Voice.
Sound of My Voice is available on DVD via Netflix or at your local Redbox machine.
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