Sound Of My Voice REVIEW

Sound Of My Voice DVD review: Do you believe in Maggie?

There was a clear front-runner in the nostril-flaring contest.

Release Date: 26 November 2012
2012 | 15 | 82 minutes | £19.99 (DVD)/£27.99 (Blu-ray)
Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Director: Zal Batmanglij
Cast: Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius, Brit Marling, Kandice Stroh

Brit Marling has carved something of a niche for herself recently as the face of arthouse SF. After co-writing and starring in doppelganger-Earth tale Another Earth</em>, she did the same on Sound Of My Voice, which plays with the concept of time travel.

Baby-faced-Simon Pegg-alike Christopher Denham and Nicole Vicius play a couple who infiltrate a secretive cult in order to make a documentary. Its leader, Maggie (Marling) claims to be from 2054, here to prepare her followers for the hard times ahead – if they pass her tests, which include vomiting up apples and scoffing earthworms. Is she a charlatan, or the real deal?

It’s an indie film with a capital I, with mundane settings, a wispy soundtrack, and the regulation chapter titles. Marling’s performance may compel or infuriate, resting as it seemingly does on the assumption that an aura of otherwordliness boils down to gazing unblinkingly with your mouth slightly open, as if you’re doing a photo shoot for Dazed & Confused, or pretending to be in a Lana Del Rey video. Annoyingly, it does kinda work.

The tangential mysteries are absorbing – what connection does a little girl called Abigail Pritchett have to do with all of this? But when the final twist comes you may wonder whether it was worth the time invested: rather than pulling the rug from under your feet, it merely gently pushes you back on your heels.


The DVD is vanilla, but you’re not really missing anything. The Blu-ray has a trailer and four underwhelming promotional featurettes consisting of clips and talking heads (totalling just 16 minutes): there’s a Making Of and a bit on Maggie, plus two Fox Movie Channel interviews in which Batmanglij and Marling discuss their craft – with more than a faint whiff of pretension…

Ian Berriman

Read more of our DVD reviews.