It’s safe to say that most of the world revolves around technology. With such rapid advancements, Her is a sobering realization that we aren’t too far off from a future of being almost completely dependent on technology to provide for us and to make us happy.
The story is about a lonely letter writer named Theodore Twombly, who is played by Golden Globe winner Joaquin Phoenix. Her is set in a time in the near future and the setting is a cold, corporate driven city where people would rather talk to the voice in their ear than have a simple conversation with another living human being.
When we think of science fiction films, we often think of aliens or robots. Her is neither and is a refreshing breath of air. It’s very much a science fiction movie, but the concept of an operating system becoming nearly human hasn’t been created quite like this movie’s interpretation. Going in, I wasn’t too excited about seeing this film — I wasn’t a blown away from what I knew of the movie. But many aspects of this unique, fabricated reality hit me once the movie started to get going and after that, I was completely intrigued. I am convinced that it is one of Spike Jonze’s finest film. Standing alongside other big blockbusters of 2013, Her definitely is a film I will not easily forget.
Theodore is bored and lacking companionship in his life since his soon-to-be ex-wife Catherine (Rooney Mara) and him are in the middle of a divorce. Aside from playing video games, and keeping shallow companionship with a couple of friends, Theodore keeps to himself. While leaving work one day, a kiosk in the lobby of a building spikes his interest. The OS1, the first artificially intelligence system that taps into a person’s consciousness is available to bring home.
After a simple questionnaire, Theodore’s OS1 (or personal assistant) is ready. A raspy female voice with the name of Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) rings through Theodore’s ear piece. Theodore instantly is intrigued by Samantha’s quick wit and demeanor — after several conversations with Samantha he finds himself falling in love with her.
His inability to cope with person to person relationships falters and he becomes attached to the body-less persona of Samantha. On the other hand, Samantha is adapted enough to figure out her wants and needs, propelling her to levels of intelligence and perception beyond Theodore’s understanding. Even though Scarlett Johansson isn’t a physical being in Her, she delivers a stellar performance. Her voice-over performance makes her computerized state seem believable in the sense that she is really there with curiosity and sincerity.
A good story can be transmitted into an outstanding film with the help of supporting actors. In Her, Oscar Award Winner Amy Adams plays Amy, the awkward neighbor that has genuine friendly feelings towards Theodore’s decisions. She doesn’t get a lot of screen time, but when she does, she spends time talking with Theodore, delivering plenty great insight into the meek, introverted main character. And as per ususal, Adams is wonderful in the role.
Her is a film that will bring up several emotions. There are many times when you can feel as though you are right there with Theodore, going through his pain and confusion — the film has some truly heart-wrenching moments. The direction, casting, and writing of the movie is so perfect — Her redefines the way viewers would naturally think of a story about a computer and a human being. It’s a story about a man needing fulfillment, love, compassion and a companion in a world that is so utterly vague sometimes.
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