Weekend Watch: Sound Of My Voice (2011)

Weekend Watch is a weekly movie review looking at the latest films in the theaters, what's streaming online, and even black and white classics. This week's review: A tense psychological thriller.

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.

Have you seen Sound of My Voice? Share your review in the comments. 

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Emily Henry November 15, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Journalistic investigation stories are definitely a draw for me... Thanks Colby!
Colby Wayne Heyer November 16, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Yeah, if that's what you're into then you should like this movie! Thanks for the comment!
Jim Caroompas November 16, 2012 at 04:16 PM
When I was a copyboy at the Oakland Tribune in... well, back in the day, let's say, one of our young, very talented reporters (Ann Bancroft) went undercover and joined the Moonies, a scary cult that was, at the time, recruiting young, innocent and vulnerable young people. Ann was brilliant and strong, but their mind control techniques were such that she didn't want to leave after a couple of weeks. We had to send in another reporter to rescue her. Her subsequent stories helped reveal Sun Young Moon's "organization" to be avoiding federal income tax, and unearthed his powerful mind control techniques for the world to see. This movie sounds similar to that.
Colby Wayne Heyer November 19, 2012 at 05:10 PM
It is very similar to that! Jim, thanks for sharing that interesting story.


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