REVIEW – ‘Sound of My Voice’


Peter (Christopher Denham) and his girlfriend Lorna (Nicole Vicius) have made the necessary preparations and have passed all the tests. Tonight, they will be taken to the house for the very first time to meet the other members of “the family.” Clad in plain white garments and seated on the floor of the basement, they listen with rapt attention as the frail young woman (Brit Marling) hooked to an oxygen tank tells her story. Her name is Maggie, and she claims to be from the future.

What Maggie and the rest of the family members don’t know is that Peter and Lorna have entered the basement with ulterior motives – Peter is an investigative journalist, and the couple have gone undercover in an effort to expose the inner workings of the mysterious cult. As they continue to spend more time in the basement, Maggie’s unique insight and wisdom forces Peter to confront some of his own insecurities, and a startling possibility presents itself – what if Maggie is telling the truth?

It’s difficult to say more about Sound of My Voice without ruining much of the film’s suspense. Marling, who also co-wrote the film with director Zal Batmanglij, gives a truly mesmerizing performance. There is a haunting quality about Maggie, with her withered appearance and soft-spoken mannerisms, but she also has a commanding presence, her voice adopting a hard edge when her followers balk at her instructions. She’s beautiful, she’s charismatic, and she might be dangerous.

Evidence exists to support any number of theories about Maggie, her origins, and her motives, and the final few moments should foster plenty of discussion. This purposely ambiguous approach is one of the film’s greatest strengths, but may also be its greatest weakness. Sound of My Voice is content to offers up plenty of questions, but stops short of revealing the answers, and audiences may be left wanting more closure than the film provides. But for those viewers who don’t mind using their imaginations, Sound of My Voice is a unique and rewarding experience.