Sound of My Voice

Sound of My Voice

***1/2

 

Beautiful, talented Brit Marling graduated Georgetown University and moved to Los Angeles to make it as an actress.

Guess what kind of parts she was offered. Probably a lot of characters with names like “screaming topless victim #4.”

I wouldn’t have judged her if she had sold out. Let me tell you, if the producers of “Men in Black 3” offered me a hundred thousand dollars, I’d be telling you right now about how much I like that charming Will Smith.

But instead of taking the easy route and acting in other people’s dumb movies, Brit Marling chose to make good movies of her own.

Marling wrote and co-stars in the independent film “Sound of My Voice.” It’s part drama, part suspense, and a just a little sci-fi. It’s the most interesting film I’ve seen this summer.

Marling plays Maggie: a cult leader. From the year 2054.

Peter and Lorna are the young couple who are infiltrating the cult in order to expose it.

In the opening scene, Peter and Lorna are handcuffed, blindfolded, and stuffed into the back of a van to be transported to the secret cult house.

There they meet Maggie. And she tells them her time-travel backstory. She tells of a post-apocalyptic future where the few survivors have to scramble for food and the most popular music is an old Cranberries tune sung by traveling troubadours.

Maggie is unbelievable. But she’s also confident, insightful, and hypnotic.

The film explores how the cult destroys Peter and Lorna’s relationship. We learn early on that Lorna was raised in LA and started partying hard at a young age. She has burnt out, calmed down, and she’s ready to settle into a boring adult life with Peter.

Peter isn’t. Peter is restless and hungry for a new experience. Maggie has what he needs. Lorna watches in dismay as Peter falls under the cult leader’s entrancing spell.

When Maggie asks Peter to bring her an eight year old girl and Peter begins to plan the kidnapping, Lorna knows that her relationship is over. But for us the viewer, the excitement is only heating up.

The final scene, when we learn why Maggie really wants that girl, is nonsensical, confounding, inexplicable…and awesome. I love the ending.

“Sound of My Voice” packs a lot of intelligence, suspense, and fun into a tight 85 minutes. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

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