Title: Sound Of My Voice
Actors: Christopher Denham, Nicola Vicius and Brit Marling
Director: Zal Batmanglij
I wrote about Brit Marling and Another Earth before and Sound of My Voice is another film starring and co-written by Brit Marling.
Aspiring documentary filmmaker Peter (Denham) and his girlfriend Lorna (Vicius) infiltrate a mysterious Californian cult that is built around a young woman called Maggie (Marling) who claims to be from the year 2055 and has information vital to mankind’s survival.
Peter and Lorna both start out as sceptics but Peter is quickly seduced by the cult and the power of its leader. Lorna watches as he falls deeper into the clutches of the cult and she is powerless to stop it from happening.
Like Another Earth, Sound Of My Voice is another one of those films that proves you don’t need millions to make wide reaching science-fiction. Another Earth was the whole parallel universe idea and here it is time-travel.
Marling is the star of this filming, she pulls off the ethereally beauty and charismatic Maggie so well you can see why everyone in the cult is in awe of her and later on why they do the things they do for her.
The cult is full of desperate, hopeless people who all long for something other than what they are. Maggie quickly becomes their own personal obsession. She prepares them for the bleak future she knows is rapidly approaching, they undergo rituals, they fast for days on end and then she feeds them worms with the warning that food is scarce in the future.
The film does seem to be building towards a thrilling and taunt climax but never gets there. The ending is ambiguous and I know a lot of people will say you ought to have possibilities to be ambiguous about in order for such an ending to work, but it is a lot like the ending of Another Earth in that, it ends abruptly but the more you think about the more it makes sense.
The director Zal Batmanglij perfectly handles the juggling act of making us question the credibility of Maggie’s time-travel claims while simultaneously doubting them.
Although sometimes the film feels like a short film stretched just enough to a feature length film, these are only minor problems and overall Sound Of My Voice proves that Another Earth was not a one hit wonder for Marling and that Batmanglij has a promising career ahead of him.