So I’ve just finished watching this film and oh my god, it is bloody brilliant. The folder has been gathering metaphorical dust on my desktop for the past week and I only got around to watching it today.
Let’s start with the premise, shall we? The whole idea of buying an artificially intelligent and intuitive operating system that listens to everything you say, understands you and knows you. You have the option to pick what gender your OS will sound like and you kind of fall into the illusion that you’re talking to an actual person since these OSs do not sound like the usual robotic computer voice. The film starts out with Joaquin Phoenix’s character, Theodore Twombly, writing a letter aloud. He is an introverted man who works for a letter writing company that caters to people who have trouble writing heartfelt and emotional letters. We see Theodore living his somewhat ordinary life. He constantly flashes back to some happy memories with his soon to be ex-wife and it’s quite clear that the reason why he refuses to sign the divorce papers is because he’s not ready to let her go. One day, while walking in what I’d assume to be a shopping center, he sees an ad about OS1 and decides to buy one. He starts up the program at home and chooses the female voice option. Of course, this is where Scarlett Johansson, or “Samantha”, comes in. They develop a quick bond and Theodore inevitably falls in love with her. Samantha expresses her concern and want for a physical body and to have a real relationship with Theodore but he continuously assures her that what they have is perfect. Of course, Theodore would sometimes slip up and point out that she is just a computer. Being an introvert, Theodore, obviously, has some trouble connecting with a significant other like dealing with real emotions. He becomes detached and pushes his girlfriend away. He refuses to voice his issue, leaving the current woman in his life to continuously wonder and smother him. Despite some bumps in their relationship, Theodore and Samantha continue to fall down the vortex of love and craziness. They help each other evolve and discover more about themselves.
The ending was a bit Ruby Sparks-y but well-received. There were many wonderful lines in the film that in any other case, would have came across a bit cheesy, but Spike Jonze pulled the whole thing off. Not to mention, the cinematography and color palette of each scene gave me a bit of a Wes Anderson feel which was great. The cast is amazing, as well. We have Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams as Theodore’s best friend, Rooney Mara as Theodore’s ex-wife and Olivia Wilde as Theodore’s blind date. The film, in itself, was raw, not trying too hard and definitely worth the two hours. I’m not really good at writing film reviews but this one was just so amazing that I wanted to try my hand at writing one. Anyway, the score was just as amazing. I’ve gone ahead and downloaded the whole film score, which was surprisingly written by Arcade Fire. Going back to cinematography, the shots of Joaquin walking around the city are my favorites. You get a look at how he lives his life simply and I have a knack for seeing good views in films. It’s not just about the actors and story. You get to appreciate the setting a really have a feel of what the character is going through and to couple that with such amazing pieces of music is incredibly fascinating and beautiful.
I rarely get to watch films these days that are truly amazing and Her is definitely a blessing to modern filmography. Hollywood definitely needs to take serious and copious notes from Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris and Michel Gondry.