The Voices – a discussion


My first response while watching this movie was, what the fuck? how the fuck? But by the end it was satisfying and made me think.  Ryan Renolds plays Jerry, who at first seems like an upbeat man who suffers from severe hallucinations in his day-to-day life. These hallucinations cause him to frequently converse with his dog Bosco and his cat Mr Whiskers, who manipulate his actions and beliefs. This would be totally okay if Bosco wasn’t a softie and thinks his owner can do nothing wrong; while Mr Whiskers is a cold-blooded psychopath, who happens to be Scottish.

I am the first to admit that my favourite character was Mr Whiskers. It is his perverted thoughts that drive this comedy, thriller down the dark path of murder.

It is important to remember however that these killings would not have happened if Jerry had been on his medication, which leads to an interesting question.  If Jerry had not died at the end, is he responsible for the lives he took? Did Jerry know what he was doing was morally wrong and still did it anyway? Is there a deeper issue at play here?

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Case #1 – Which, if any, murders was Jerry responsible for?

Depending on what side of the law you are on, it may be argued that Jerry is not responsible for all three murders as he was hallucinating and wasn’t in control of his actions, thus he could plead insanity on three counts. Then it may be argued that only the last murder was intentional. Fiona’s murder happens after Jerry accidentally stabs her, chasing after her after he killed a deer because the deer asked for a mercy killing. Jerry chose to kill Fiona to end her suffering. After Lisa finds out about Jerry and what happened to Fiona. She goes to leave but Jerry shoves her on the bed, it again is only after Lisa cracks her head open that Jerry decides to kill her to end her suffering too. It is Alison’s murder; however, that he intentionally plans and executes.

Case #2 – Jerry’s ‘reality’ of the world is safer

The pills take the rose-tinted glasses off and expose that his appartment is a horders paradise crossed with a rat’s all-you-can-eat buffet. This causes Jerry to freak-out with no support, and the reality that his pets don’t talk to him which for him, is terrifying. He vomits the pills and flushes the rest because he wants his safe-place to return.

Case #3 – Where is the support

I feel sorry for Jerry, he hasn’t been given the proper support to help him live in society, he has a psychiatrist, but she doesn’t seem to be doing much apart from ticking the boxes.

Even though we do not know the full details about Jerry’s’ stint in a psychiatric hospital, he has no doubt been traumatised by his childhood. I would think that even though he is living on his own, with a psychiatrist, wouldn’t there have been check-ins at home to see how the place is?

The final thought I want to say is that when Bosco races out the door at the end of the film, it brings a whole new viewpoint when earlier in the film Jerry comes home and ruffs up Bosco as he shuts the door. All that time, Bosco was trying to escape.

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