Does a man police or attempt to police a woman’s sexual agency? [why this matters]
Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
Not only are multiple women killed here by the protagonist, they are depicted as delighted to have been brutally murdered, and we are invited to feel sorry not for them but for their killer.
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? Yes (Marjane Satrapi) (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: Innovations in how women are represented onscreen are desperately needed, but not like the ones here. Typically, when women are kidnapped and murdered to motivate a male protagonist, it’s the villain who does so, not the (supposedly sympathetic) protagonist himself, motivating himself via the (literally) schizophrenic voices in his head. When women are used as decorative objects, that usually means “prancing around in skimpy bikinis,” not “their pretty severed heads sitting on the coffeetable.” Where are the women in this movie? Dead and in pieces… and that’s meant to be kooky and charming.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Voices! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of The Voices.