Thursday, 7 June 2012

Sound of My Voice

Another fascinating, mysterious and unusual indie film from Brit Marling, who starred in, and co-wrote, Another Earth last year. Sound of My Voice has so much in common with Another Earth, in terms of style and quality, that I am going to cut and paste a piece of my Another Earth review here (with changes/additions in parentheses):
“This quirky low-budget indie drama about (a young L.A. couple doing an exposé documentary of a new cult) is strangely compelling. The acting is not outstanding, the cinematography is of the handheld variety that I don’t usually like, and the directing by (Zal Batmanglij) has its share of flaws. And yet (Sound of My Voice) is always engaging and thought-provoking and the characters real and sympathetic enough to make me care. (Sound of My Voice) left an impression on me and made me think.”
This all applies to Sound of My Voice even though it tells a very different story than Another Earth. This time, Marling’s film is part thriller, because the young couple mentioned above get in over their heads. And this time there are even more unanswered questions to infuriate me. Both films involve central plot elements which are not explored in any way. This suggests, of course, that those plot elements are not what the film is about. That’s fine, but it’s still maddening for those of us who want stories to make sense in a logical way. I have heard that Sound of My Voice is the first of a trilogy, so maybe some answers are forthcoming, but I won’t hold my breath.
So what is Sound of My Voice really about? Not so much about cults, I think, as about faith and doubt. It is certainly a discussion-worthy film.
Whatever its flaws, Sound of My Voice is also my kind of film. I was caught up from the opening scene to the final moments, even with the handheld camerawork. So this gets a solid ***+. My mug is up.

Duncan, thanks for alerting me to this, and for your recommendation.

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