Saturday night I went to a private screening of Voiceless. Normally, I avoid movies like this, because they are usually poorly done. But, I was lured there by movie popcorn, a free ticket and a trailer that looked okay. I was still hesitant.
I went in not expecting much. Okay, actually I expected bad acting, a bad plot and a lot of eyeroll moments. I was happily surprised. For the most part, the acting wasn’t terrible, the plot wasn’t awful and I only rolled my eyes a few times.
Voiceless is most definitely a Christian pro-life film. It would not appeal to people who don’t already lean that way. In fact, the introduction of the film by the pastor that helped bring the film to the theater started by saying that it was a film meant to inspire Christians to act. Like many of the Christian films I’ve seen, it’s for a niche audience.
Set in North East Philly, a young, discharged war vet takes a job as an inner city community outreach director. He gets lukewarm support for his mission to set up a boxing ring and open opposition when he begins speaking out about the abortion clinic across the street from the outreach center.
Casting / Acting
As with any low-budget production, casting was hit and miss. There were some very good acting choices, but many that could have been better.
There were some veteran actors cast, but the majority were fairly new to the big screen.
Rusty Joiner as the lead, Jesse, was a hit. His acting was natural and he fit the part.
Joselyn Cruz, who played his wife was a miss. Her acting seemed more suited to stage than screen. And there was no chemistry between the two at all.
I loved Susan Moses as the feisty Scot. The accent could have been real, but it sounded like she was trying too hard.
James Russo who played Paster Gill was another good casting choice.
Paul Rodriguez, who played Virgil Adorable, was not. I wasn’t impressed with his acting. It was just too much.
The bit parts through out the movie were terrible. The scene at the funeral home was so over played I rolled my eyes. Some of that might have been due to the writing, but I suspect it was more due to inexperienced actors.
Writing / Plot
Surprisingly the writing was decent. The dialogue between characters was natural and not forced. There were a few spots here and there that could have been better, but overall not bad.
The plot had issues. There were several scenes of him just looking at the clinic across the street, which added nothing to the film. And there were several parts where there was no buildup. They just randomly happened without rhyme or reason. For example during the funeral scene, Jesse gets yelled at for messing with the girl’s head. But, nothing before that even gives us a hint that she said anything to her family.
I was beginning to regret going to the movie at the opening. I hate bouncy camera shots and quick moves. Both happened at the start of the movie. It did get better, but there are some places where there are just weird angles and blurring during pans. The editing could have been better in spots too.
It was better than I expected. It had a good message about taking action for what you believe in. Could it have been better? Yes.
Worth seeing? Yes…once.
Worth seeing multiple times? Not really. It’s one of those once and done type movies.