Her: Film Review

A sublime, exquisite story of love and what it takes to be in love. Spike Jonze has made a masterpiece dedicated to the whole human experience of being in love, in a version of a not-so-distant future. The movie stars Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt, Portia Doubleday and features the amazing voice talents of Scarlett Johansson. It explores the very human instinct of connecting, simplicity of being in love, the hurt of separation, the fallout of a failed relationship and the hope that someday we might find someone who might love us.

The movie starts with a lovely presentation of our future. The coming-together-of world cultures and the whole of technology evolving into this version of hyper-intelligent and sentient programs.

Most films have the primary stars in close proximity as they begin their journey. However, this film takes that notion and moves it further into the realm of sci-fi. We have a professional letter-writer, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), who is attempting to battle his depression due to his failed marriage. He gets prompted to update his operating system. In doing so, he gets Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) installed into his computer. An (artificial) intelligent and self-aware entity, she starts to learn about the world and in doing so, she finds a willing teacher in Theodore. They start a journey where she explores the world and he gets to reconnect with it. As the movie goes on, we get to take part in the whole relationship. The audience doesn’t feel like voyeur but rather a 3rd person participant. Samantha’s thirst for what it takes to be human consumes Theodore. Being a witness to this, each and every member of the audience will realize that at least some part of this story applies to their own lives. The connection between Theodore and Samantha blossoms into this passionate exploration of the world around them. Here, we get to see what defines a relationship. Is it a physical connection or an emotional one? Does logic play a factor? What is the reality about this? In seeking a connection, do we overlook the physical and make do with a virtually real one? The relationship between Samantha and Theodore shows us this.

 

This is a beautifully made film. The use of colors makes us understand the depth of emotions that is felt by both characters. Scarlett Johansson’s voice acting, simply put, is nothing short of brilliant. The range of emotion conveyed by just her voice brings her to life. Joaquin Phoenix is amazing. As the primary focus of the camera, his acting shows us the whole gamut of emotions shown by someone who is lonely and who is looking for love. The soundtrack of the film transports us. As the audience, we get involved. Our emotions get tied up in the midst of this marvelous work of fantasy. Being human isn’t just the notion of being; it is about feeling and changing the world around you. Love is shown to be more than just a physiological state-of-hormones and emotions. Spike Jonze uses light and sound to make us believe in this world. A world where people are connected, and yet so far apart. He makes us look at the very nature of being human. As we seek others, we find ourselves. The sacrifices that are made in the name of love, the prayers and hopes of the people in love, the anguish of being hurt and the gentle balm of understanding, that to love and to be loved is the most human of feelings.

Why should you watch this movie?

This is a film where you are left speechless, by the end of it. This is due to the emotions that leave the screen and enter your mind. In the characters of Theodore and Samantha, we recognize ourselves. Brilliant camera work, amazing music and a unique story are just few aspects of this movie.

The characters are well written, and are portrayed with such emotion that you will be drawn into this love story. There will be moments of wit and humor, as well as moments of hope and sadness. In the end it is a story of love.

 

This is a movie for everyone. You will smile and laugh, tear-up and be left speechless. Spike Jonze has made a movie which engages you on a human level. This in-depth look at the way people fall in love. We feel the rush of falling and flying at the same time. The connections we make along the way, the disagreements, the anger and the hurt that we feel are just a few of the things that this movie leaves us with. In the end you will ask yourself a few questions, about what makes us real. Is it a physical presence or the emotional connections? What does it mean to be human? Watch this movie and think about those answers. You will be pleasantly surprised at your thoughts. I know I was.

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1 Comment

  1. Sankat-Mochan

    February 14, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    who wouldn’t love to have #scarletjohanson’s voice for their operating system

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