Sound of My Voice
Brit Marling stars in Zal Batmanglij's time travel B movie with a difference
If time travel proved possible, how might time-travellers appear to us? That’s the intriguing question posed with considerable gravitas in director Zal Batmanglij’s taut little thriller. In ten episodic chapters, complete with miniature cliff-hangers, Sound of My Voice makes an interesting companion piece to last year’s Another Earth, also co-written by star Brit Marling, cleverly repositioning a Twilight Zone-style conceit within the context of an indie drama.
Maggie (Marling) wakes up in a bathtub full of water with no memory of how she got there. After a few days staggering around California clad in a bed-sheet, she’s rescued by Klaus (Richard Wharton), and installed in the basement of a San Fernando apartment. Klaus creates a cult around the sickly Maggie and her remarkable story; she claims to be a time traveller from the year 2054, sent back in time with a mission to prevent a civil war.
Maggie’s story is told to the latest intake of the cult, including Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius), two investigative journalists in disguise. They aim to prove that Maggie’s story is a lie, but as the menacing atmosphere of Maggie’s cult grows more threatening, Peter and Lorna realize that they’re in danger of being brainwashed. And Peter’s day job, as a schoolteacher, turns out to have a specific relevance to Maggie’s plans …
Batmanglij and Marling have crafted a neat chiller, a no-frills B movie that explores the central conceit with intelligence and wit; when asked to perform music from the future, the ethereal Maggie offers a ‘cover’ of The Cranberries’ song Dreams. As with Another Earth, the solutions only lead to more questions, but the investigation is an original, compelling one. And Marling’s role as Maggie, in oxygen tank and flowing veil, gives the drama a fascinating, enigmatic centre.
Selected release from Fri 3 Aug.