Support us with Kachingle!
June 2, 2012 | 11:43 a.m. CST
Sound of My Voice centers on the young lovers and amateur documentarians Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius) who attempt to infiltrate and expose a secret cult. The leader of the cult, Maggie (Brit Marling), claims she is from the future and will take the group to “a better place.” Although there are many genuinely surprising and thrilling moments, the film, directed by Zal Batmanglij, ultimately leaves audiences with predictable answers and even more questions.
The beginning of the film jumps right into Peter and Lorna’s first step into cult initiation. There is no information about how Peter and Lorna found out about the cult or even what it is, at least in the opening scenes, and in the end, this sequence acts as the audience’s own initiation into the movie. Peter and Lorna’s confusion is shared with viewers, as they are made to shower and leave all of their belongings to be taken to the cult’s mysterious whereabouts. Everyone is in awe during the introduction of Maggie, moviegoers included.
The film really shines with Marling’s captivating performance as Maggie. At one moment she is warm and motherly, the next, confrontational and fierce. It is easy to see how she would draw followers to her, claims of time travel or not.
While Sound of My Voice succeeds with drawing the audience in with both suspense and the enthralling Maggie, in general, it follows what one would expect from a cult movie. Loyalties and the truth are questioned. Followers do crazy things, such as the scene where the members eat worms to prove their loyalty. Even the ending itself is particularly ambiguous and open-ended. What’s more is, many pieces through out the film that build intrigue and curiosity, ultimately go nowhere. The group has a shooting range. They have their blood taken. Outside the cult, there is an enigmatic young girl who is somehow connected. In the end, these bits add up to nothing and many are not even touched on after they appear. The pieces and the fascination are there, but the big picture only amounts to a predictable vagueness.