Directed by Zal Batmanglij.
Co-Written with Brit Marling.
This little film certainly doesn’t want to be just another random little film. At least for one hour and a half he challenges me, he makes me make a stand in my head to what I want to believe. Think of this film as a challenge and as the challenge gradually evolves, our heads get cleaner, the hands’ ritual gets fixed, the sound of this woman’s voice becomes frightening and suddenly you’re questioning everything. Not just this woman’s intentions, claiming that she comes from the future, you question the people that go underground for her and would kill themselves for an idea (cult). In my head, and I’m sure in a lot of others, I believe in the sham of it all. It is not possible, it isn’t truth and that woman is a smuggler. We are at the same position as our protagonists, Lorna and Peter, because this is also what they believe. We follow them closely, through their gradual involvement with this woman. You easily understand that every single step the followers do, it’s just a proof to see how far they go for them, both for the woman and the people behind her. All this trust becomes gradually more sickening. Our position in this challenge is shaken when Peter starts to believe this woman. Should we also believe? No, because this is the exact moment when you have to go back to the beginning and think of the absurdity of it all; at least I thought. This is also the moment in the film when a woman claims the truth about this woman from the future, Maggie.
Brit Marling, playing Maggie, contributes to our uncertainty of this woman’s intentions, especially in the way she lingers in the strength in her words, how strongly she believes in them and the focus of reaching something we don’t know. Maggie’s mind set always seems to be absolutely focused on what she wants and Brit is really strong in here. I think it’s an overall good and consistent direction by Zal Batmanglij.
When the film ends, a few things are certain to me and one of them is that human beings are capable of anything and this basic idea shouldn’t be underrated, like it probably is every day by the most of us. This way, maybe people wouldn’t be so shocked when their very nice and calm neighbor had a kid in his basement, abusing him every day. It’s the human capacity, the strength in one’s mind to believe in something and put all the energy in that thought and then where all that strength might leads them it’s beyond everyone’s imaginations. But you can’t say you don’t have a lot of good examples. I believe the writers also gave the appropriate ending to their story, letting an open window, so to say, or more like the final chapter of the challenge, which is passing the challenge to ourselves, giving us the option, the benefit of the doubt. Given that the film it’s been this all along, at the end of the day, the truth behind what we believe it isn’t as significant as our decision to what we want to believe, being the core (or the question) of the story, what we decide to believe and its repercussions. I think that’s what Zal and Brit want to question with this Sound of My Voice. At least that’s what I took from the film.