FILM REVIEW: Her
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Maria, Amy Adams
We have become a world that relies on technology. Spike Jonze’ latest release Her takes place in futuristic Los Angeles.The world is close to being techno-perfection. Communication is seemingly done better through the reliance of mobile technology and computers. The world can now purchase OS’s with the capabilities of speech and human notions.
Jonze’ romantic take on the technological world is the concept of a human falling in love with an OS system.
Theodore Twombly is the films quirky lead portrayed Joaquin Phoenix. Twombly is a seemingly lonely fellow with an office job in the city at a company called BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com. Twombly’s character is what Douglas Renham from the IT Crowd would describe as a ‘standard nerd’. Largely rimmed spectacles, an uncool mustache and a button down shirt tucked into trousers as high as skyscrapers.
Twombly is going through a horrid divorce with e-wife Catherine ‘Rooney Maria’ and is heavily under the notion that to love again would be tough going. Although Twombly’s lonesome life is soon turned upside down. The downloading of a new computer operating system by the name of ‘Samantha’ portrayed by the voice of Scarlett Johansson. Samantha is as witty and charming as operating systems can get, providing Theodore with advice and reassurance.
Samantha sets Theodore up with dates, and takes him on a reassuring journey that he will be able to eventually love again. It then becomes coincidence as Theodore soon falls in love with Samantha. They engage in virtual sexual activity and charming relationship like conversation. A particularly haunting scene see’s Samantha set herself up by microphone and camera in a human host body so she can experience her and Theodore’s love extensively.
‘Her’ echoes the ‘falling in love with inanimate objects’ concept. Some comparison seen in Craig Gillsepie’s ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ in which Ryan Gosling finds love with a blow up doll. And in Michael Gottlieb’s ‘Mannequin’ in which Andrew McCarthy falls in love with a perfect mannequin ‘Kim Cattrall’ which he himself designs.
‘Her’ climaxes to a rather sad but inevitably true ending. The message that people are becoming much too reliant on OS’s and technology ringing clear. The film lacks in its comedic brakes. There is rarely a moment when the audience would be able to find themselves ‘taking a breather’ from the films heavy surrealism. Although that aside ‘Her’ is a beautifully artistic piece from Spike Jonze, having already won an Oscar for its script.
‘Her’ has an incredibly quirky charm and is a realistic look at what our world is likely to become. Joaquin Phoenix’s performance is thoroughly enjoyable as well as relatable. ‘Her’ is perhaps the king of movies featuring inanimate object relationships so far.
Watch the trailer for Her below: