"Her" Film Review
After watching this film last night, I think Her is a beautiful sci-fi romantic masterpiece relevant to the digital age we live in now. Out of all the movies I’ve watched in the last few years, Her is one of the few that has affected me so deeply on so many levels including romance. This thought provoking film will challenge you not only on an emotional level but also on a philosophical and existential level.
It’s a story about a recently divorced man who falls in love with his artificially intelligent computer operating system. Melancholy meditation on the way technology simultaneously facilitates and thwarts our basic need for human connection, with alarming hints of where our relationship with technology might be heading in a not so distant future. It shows us how technology connects everyone to the world but can also isolate us from legitimate, warm human contact.
As we’re developing countless ways of communication through new sorts of technology, we’re ironically separating ourselves from other people. How many people do you see sitting round a table in a restaurant absorbed into their phone screens instead of talking to one another? How many people do you see walking down the street with headphones in their ears avoiding any and all sorts of human contact? The world in ‘Her’ is the one we live in now but turned up a notch. People don’t need to make connections with other people because their shiny little gadgets are there instead. Hell, even the characters in their video games talk to them.
It’s a depiction of an introverted population on a wider scale. That was the most interesting element of the film to me because I genuinely find the relationships people form with their pieces of technology fascinating, I think it’s scary. There’s also the “What makes us human” layer in the film in regards to Samantha the operating system, as she begins to learn more and more about the world and questions her own existence as a machine.
What makes Her so special are the questions it poses to the viewer. What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be in love? What is love? As I said before, Her’s world is unfamiliar but not distant. Take a plunge into the world and life of Theodore Twombly, and you’ll find yourself re-examining humanity and love.
The performances by Joaquin Phoenix (Theodore) and Scarlett Johansson (Samantha, voice of the IOS operating system) are brilliant, but the cinematography is even better. The film’s most remarkable aspect is creating such a believable atmosphere, and then shooting it to near perfection in Shanghai and Los Angeles. I think Jonze’s streak of unique and thoughtful story telling hits all the right notes. The film has a soft, warm feel to it and has a wonderfully bizarre, strangely relatable premise; it is a sleekly-designed film that is both a feast for the eyes and the ears.
I recommend this film to anyone who likes challenging and thought provoking films that leave you questioning life days after you’ve watched it.
You can watch the trailer here