After Another Earth, Brit Marling capitalizes with Sound of My Voice.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FOX SEARCHLIGHT
Brit Marling as Maggie in “Sound of my Voice.”
Remember this name: Brit Marling. Marling, who wrote, produced and starred in last years sci-fi stunner, Another Earth, returns with the smart, psychological thriller Sound Of My Voice.
When Peter and Lorna (Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius) decide to infiltrate the compound of a local cult for their documentary, they are met and taken under the wing of Maggie, the mysterious cult leader who claims to be from the future in an effort to save the country from civil war. As the dynamic changes between the couple on what is perceived and what is reality with Maggie, a cat-and-mouse game ensues between the embattled cult leader and the justice department.
Marling makes considerable strides as an actress in Sound Of My Voice. Never afraid to be vulnerable in a scene, the actress adds charisma and depth to her repertoire. The scenes between her and Denham add palpable drama and tension that add a raw and unflinching dexterity to the film.
Vicius also gives a compelling turn as Lorna. The push and pull between Lorna and Peter is raw and transformative. To see the gradual downward spiral in the relationship of the couple, with the rise of the independence of her character, gives the film some semblance of reality.
Written by Marling and Zal Batmanglij, Marling works with concepts that are thought provoking and eerie (Space, cults) yet Voice offers a tighter and more consistent story than her previous work, Another Earth. The cat-and-mouse aspect of the plot between the cult and the Justice department, combined with the push and pull between the documentarians and between Peter and Maggie is compelling.
Batamnglij, in his full-length feature debut, has considerable faith in giving the actors the room and depth to do their scenes. Working with Marling before, the director makes the right call by making her the films focal point.
The only knock on Sound Of My Voice could be the abrupt ending. As a viewer, there is a want to see a different, bigger payoff because of the emotional investment with the characters. Critically, the ending is great because it leaves many things open to interpretation. The reality is probably somewhere in the middle.
Making the rounds at SXSW, Marling is going to be someone big, soon, and Sound Of My Voice should be one of the sleeper films of 2012.