A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.
Spike Jonze is one of the most original voices in Hollywood today, and he doesn’t disappoint with his 4th feature film, a futuristic love story that not only moves, but poses some very interesting questions to ponder long after the end credits have rolled. ‘Her’ is the story of Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely man who’s struggling to adjust as he’s going through a divorce with his ex (Rooney Mara). He works for a company that writes other peoples personal letters (one of many clever little pointers to a potential future) during the day, and generally mopes around playing computer games at night. His life changes, and the film takes off, when he buys an advanced operating system or an ‘OS’ called Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).
The story goes off in two interesting ways from here. The first is clear from the trailers – Theodore starts to fall in love with Samantha and starts to develop a relationship very similar to that one would have with a real person, and the film is expertly crafted at depicting the ‘honeymoon’ period and the inevitable period that follows where much like a human relationship, they grow distant, stop having sex and start arguing more. The second aspect is infinitely more interesting, and starts to focus on ‘Samantha’ outgrowing Theodore, her intelligence surpassing him so immensely that she can have multiple conversations/relationships with different people all at the same time, which is something Theodore can’t get his head around. It becomes very philosophical, and very thought provoking. The superb script is what makes this a magnificent film, but credit also to the wonderfully realised depiction of the future, with a world created that you could realistically see being no more than 30 years away, and a far cry from the usual apocalyptic warzones we’re used to seeing in any depiction of the future. In that aspect, it was very similar to the wonderful little film from last year, ‘Robot and Frank’ which you ought to see if you haven’t.
‘Her’ is a wonderful film. Moving, thought-provoking and incredibly clever, it’s one of the years best so far.
Directed By: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Olivia Wilde, Rooney Mara and Chris Pratt