Film Treatment: The Many Voices of George
Logline: A dark coming of age story in which a young man suffering from schizophrenia uses his gift to blend into normal society. However, things threaten to unravel as his “gift” begins to worsen.
This film is a coming of age black comedy that illustrates that not everyone not everyone functions the same way internally. with all of the different conflicting viewpoints, terms and ideological platforms, that we all still need to cooperate with each other instead of argue. In the past few years, the use of specialized words to describe gender, sexual preference, race, religious beliefs, political affiliation and even economic status. People seek approval by agreeing with things that they hear are the right way to think, but believe in another ideology. With all of these conflicting viewpoints, people are constantly at each others throats trying to justify and force others to acknowledge their viewpoints. Ultimately, this film is not a warning, it is a snapshot of how our modern American society is trying to sort out the true truth from all of the voices telling us what the truth is
the story starts out as a young unassuming man name George Middleton(played by Asa Butterfield) begins his life out of college working at as a standard company drone at an insurance company. As the audience follows George throughout his day an unseen voice narrates George’s day sarcastically. However, as the day goes on it becomes clear that George can hear the voice as well as others. it is here that George himself takes over the job as narrator and reveals that he has Schizophrenia and introduces the four voices hears in his head. The voice’s names, given to the by George, represent the personalities that they exhibit. The first voice, known as Ted, is a big talking machismo obsessed male voice (Clint Eastwood). The second voice, (voiced by Louie Anderson) named Irena , is a flamboyant, foppish voice that preaches constantly about freedom and release of all hidden secrets. The third voice is a dark toned voice named Blackbert (Hugh Laurie) who insults people and encourages George to speak out and to verbally attack people he feels are annoying. The final voice, known as Aces is the main voice that encourages George and gets the other voices to work together for the benefit of George is a representation of what George wants to be, confident and truly normal. The voices help George navigate difficult social situations and help him navigate dark misadventures such as helping his gay coworker hook up, making friends with a muslim activist group, and breaking up a fight between a militant white supremacist group and a group of Nazi sympathizers Everything seems fine for George until he begins to hallucinate a character called the Horseman, a horse headed man who dresses as a stereotypical British scholar. The Horseman (voiced by Ian McKellan physically threatens Geroge, appearing to him and haunting him throughout his days causing his illusion of normality to begin to dissolve. As we see George struggle to maintain his public appearance we see flashbacks of George’s childhood, including his prejudiced father who holds people with mental disorders as less than human, the first manifestation of his voices and the subsequent abuse he received for them, and the idea to use the voices to appear as average. As George begins to breakdown from the stress, he loses his job and is taken by police to a mental hospital where he is diagnosed and given medication for his condition. George ultimately is left alone and without help, now unable to cope with the world George slides into deep despair. As a final twist, George is paid one last visit by the Horseman where it is revealed that it is a representation of George’s desire to stop living the lie of normality and accept that he will never be like anyone else as he is truly unique. The Horseman bids farewell and returns the voices back to George who tells them that he doesn’t need their help anymore. The film ends with George going into a job interview at a new company and asked how he would describe himself. At this point George smiles and replies with one-minded.
This film is representative of our multi idea oriented culture and how each person is allowed to be right and never be argued with. Yet anyone who does not agree is considered a bigot and prejudiced. The voices represent various ideologies and cultural ideas presented in modern society, many which clash together and fill up our daily lives even if we are not directly part of the argument. The voices are constantly fighting which takes away from Georges mental fortitude ad eventually tear him apart. This is representative of how many Americans are divided and constantly pick fights to show how the other party is not logical and out of control. The audience is reminded that despite the ideological war going on, there are still people who are trying to survive day by day and how they are often caught in the crossfire between various interest groups. Ultimately, the idea of the film is to provoke thoughts while taking the audience on a dark comedic romp watching a young man try to survive in today’s conflicting world.
If my film is chosen, I would like to play the role of the Horseman, I feel that I would be able to bring about the idea of the character but if not then I will gladly be part of the production team.