The Voice over

The Voice over

There are many different types of voices over which feature throughout different movies. Each with different meanings and effects. Many people who watch movies think narration in movies  

be only neutral. However this interpretation can easily lead the viewer astray or into the directors trap.


Fight Club

In the movie Fight Club, the voiceover is the voice of Tyler Durdan: the main protagonist in this twisted and distorted movie. In this story he narrates his life and his perception of the world. We are led to believe his personal views are truthful and that a lot of the events in the movie are really happening however as Tyler Durden’s mind starts to unravel we begin to understand that he is  not truthful at all and that his mental well being in the movie is also reflected in the narration, he is not in control. or maybe it’s ‘a projection of the Narrator’s own psyche, what we might call ‘multiple personality disorder.’ (Myers, 2013) This subjective voice-over is something that many and me personally fell for in the movie first time around of watching. One of reasons for us falling for this twist is that the movie is so good at portraying of objective stance in narration. This makes it so believable that he is just an insomniac person who narrates the problems which are exhibited around in his day to life.


Shawshank Redemption

In the movie Shawshank Redemption Morgan Freeman portrays a completely opposite type of narration to Edward Norton in Fight Club, as we go back to that element of trust for narration. With the movie presented as a pastime tale as we look into the life of Ellis Boyd and Andy Dufresne. The movie as a whole helps us experience (with Morgan freeman’s voice) the great story of Andy Dufresne and how he got into prison and how he got out. This Neutral type of voice over is the most commonly used as it acts out the voice of god in which the reader can trust the voice over completely. Morgan Freeman does perfect job of with his ‘night time story before you go to bed’ tone of voice.



The movie Rocky also uses a different type of narration. This narration happens in the movie when Rocky is shell shocked from critical hit in the final fight and in this brief lapse we are locked in slow motion with Rocky, with Rocky telling himself ‘remember what you said to the kid, it ain’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward!’ This use of subjective narration makes you really connected to Rocky as the movie allows us to get inside the mind of Rocky bringing us ever closer to the character Rocky himself.

See Fig. 1.)

Voiceover isn’t just narration it could also mean the absence of the something such as the mouth and bearer of the voice. – The voice without bearer is a term that relates to many movies. With the body presence or that the mouth is missing. For instance in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ –  The character Bane has a mask on his face and his voice is muffled. This masked presence brings different persona to if he didn’t have the mask on and in my opinion completely changes the atmosphere in many of the scene he is in. With him having mysterious persona as well as a uniqueness which stands out from everyone else.

This voice without a bearer is also used in the Wizard of OZ when Dorothy meets the Wizard of Oz. Due to the hype of the name the ‘wizard of OZ’ we instantly our met with our first expectation with this huge head and huge power. However we are then deceived when the Wizards is only the to be revealed as small wizard is behind a machine.


Myers. S (2013) Desciption of the Fight Club narration at (Accessed on 20/03/16)


Figure. 1. Rocky Picture (1976) [Picture] At: (Accessed n 20/3/16)


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