‘Sound of My Voice’ a hard film to follow

Lauren J. Mapp, Editor-in-Chief

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Mystery, intrigue and more than a hint of wrong doing infiltrate the trailer, but screenwriter and actor Brit Marling’s newest film “Sound of My Voice” will disappoint anyone hoping for the next big psychological thriller.

Directed by Zal Batmanglij and written by Marling and Batmanglij, the film gives into the pretentious cliché that is the indie film genre today. A film like this that leaves you with questions is perfectly adequate if it sufficiently resolves the plot in the end- think “Donnie Darko” or “Inception.”

“Sound of My Voice,” most unfortunately, leaves the movie goer with an unclear view of what actually happened during the film.

As Peter Aitken (played by Christopher Denham) and his girlfriend Lorna Michaelson (played by Nicole Vicius) drive down a residential street in Los Angeles at the beginning of the film, they are reading an eerie list of instructions that involve pulling into an unknown garage late at night.

Peter and Lorna are then escorted out of their car, into the house and to two separate bathrooms where they shower and scrub down in a fashion reminiscent of Ethan Hawke as Vincent Freeman in the 1997 film “Gattaca,” minus the incinerator. They are then dressed in hospital robes, blindfolded, led into a van and driven to an unknown location with two other passengers, Lam and Christine (played by Alvin Lam and Constance Wu, respectively).

After being led down the stairs of a second, more sterile home, the quartet is locked into the basement, where they meet Klaus (played by Richard Wharton). A secret, bizarre handshake takes place between Peter and Klaus, and the new members are welcomed to Maggie (played by Marling)’s cult.

Maggie, who all the members have prepared for on the outside and come to worship, is a beautiful, young and obviously sick woman. She woke up one morning face-down in a bathtub with no recollection of who she was, other than her name.

As she struggled to survive on the streets of Los Angeles, she began to remember the details of her life, but this newfound information deeply frightened her. She now knew where she was from, and that place was the year 2054.

“Sound of my Voice” continues on by trying to get the audience to figure out whether or not Maggie is a fake. Overall, the film’s premise was a great idea, but it failed in its execution. It was more confusing and frustrating than it was incisive and poignant. Worst of all, it leaves the audience asking themselves, “WTF?,” which was apparently the intention all along.

“’WTF?’ Like, ‘what the …?’ was sort of how we felt, and it’s kind of like you’re always leaning forward a bit. You’re just like wait, what is happening in this movie? And it keeps drawing you in,” Marling said about the script in a recent Fox Entertainment Group  conference  call.

Though she is correct in the fact that the audience was constantly leaning forward in anticipation for a dramatic event, the long wished for event never showed up for the party.

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