Her Film Review
Anybody can be loved; anything can be loved too. Her, directed by Spike Jonze, explores what love can be through a lonely man named Theodore Twombly, played by the very talented Joaquin Phoenix. Theodore falls for an operating system named Samantha, voiced by Scarlet Johansson, and his life suddenly becomes brand new.
Spike Jonze has a uniquely creative eye, and he proves in this film that he hasn’t lost a step. Jonze sets this film in the not so distant future where technology is realistically integrating with our everyday activities. The film’s soft, warm tones and lingering shots help to make the viewing experience personal. At the heart of the film is an amazing script that’s funny,unnerving, and poignant all the way through. In a way, it’s an exploration of the importance of relationships. Of course, the film wouldn’t work as well as it did if it weren’t for the right cast.
Joaquin Phoenix is Theodore, a ghost writer for personal letters that is going through a divorce. Theodore is a character that is so in touch with his emotions, yet he still finds it difficult to make true connections with others until Samantha comes into his life. He’s lonely, but not alone, in that he feels he’s felt all there is to feel in this world. The question “what’s left?” runs through his mind until he falls in love with an operating system that evolves from moment to moment. Phoenix gives a heartbreaking, hilarious performance that is very relative.
Scarlett Johansson plays Samantha, the operating system that engages in a relationship with Theodore. Although she’s not “real” in any traditional sense, there’s still a connection between the two that you can feel. One of the most awkward and completely relative scenes in the film that shows the connection of the two is when they find a way to make love. Johansson manages to be “there” through her voice alone. The main characters are surrounded by great talent, including Rooney Mara and Amy Adams, where different types of relationships are explored.
Her is a beautiful story about the depths of what love can be. Love shows us what we’re capable of, and it helps us to experience an endless feeling of connection beyond what we can even describe through any type of medium. This film is somewhat a cautionary tale of how isolated we can get when we “connect” through technology, or in this case with technology. However, most importantly, it shows that our desire for connection is so strong that when we experience it completely, we open up that insane feeling of love.
This is a Spike Jonze film, and for those that are fans, you’ll know that his stories are out there. If you want something more grounded to a reality that’s more well known, this might not be a film to look into. Some may find the ending of the film beautiful, and others might find that it leads to nowhere. The story itself might be unattractive, simply because the main character could be looked at as a weird creep if you take him out of the context of his story.
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