Cults creep me out. The idea of being brainwashed by a charismatic sociopath both interests, baffles and frightens me. I don’t feel I’d be easily susceptible their methods and doubt I’d drink their Kool-Aid, because I consider myself to be a very reasonable person, and sitting around, wearing white sheets, praising strange unknown entity seems pretty illogical. But the fact that this has been successful in the past sure as hell gives me the heebie-jeebies.
It’s for all these reasons that Zal Batmanglij’s upcoming film “Sound of My Voice” interests me. The film earned rave reviews at both the 2011 Sundance and SXSW film festivals and is scheduled for release by Fox Searchlight at the end on April.
The movie revolves around an investigative journalist named Peter who wants to expose the workings of a potentially dangerous cult. After learning a secret handshake and being blindfolded and driven to a mysterious house, he and his girlfriend infiltrate a group led by a mysterious girl named Maggie, who claims to be from the year 2054. From the looks of the trailer, the typically rational and clear-minded Peter becomes quite taken by Maggie and possibly gets sucked into the cult’s beliefs.
The film stars Brit Marling, the indie darling of the moment who made waves with last year’s “Another Earth,” in which the 29-year-old produced, directed, wrote and starred — to critical acclaim. The opening 12 minutes of the “Sound of My Voice” are available on the film’s website and despite its intriguing premise, “Sound of My Voice” appears a little over-dramatic. I even giggled during the secret handshake with a guy that reminded me of the guidance councilor from “Freaks and Geeks.”
Nevertheless, there is promise here and I want it deliver, I’m just not convinced it can.