Sometimes I think I have felt everything I’m ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I’m not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I’ve already felt – Theodore Twombly
Spike Jonze’s Her is about Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), an introverted man who earns a living by writing personal letters for others. But his personal life is not as sweet as his letters. He is on the verge of divorce with his wife Catherine (Rooney Mara). But when he installs a new operating system for his computer named Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) his life takes a turn because this operating system talks and understands human feelings.
Her is a deeply endearing movie, I assure you. If you are unsure about the movie even after reading this review, please watch the trailer. I was sure that I was about to get another Lost in Translation when I watched it, and thankfully I got it. Her rides on the performance of Joaquin Phoenix, who is sublime in his performance. He knows that the whole movie rides on his shoulders but his mannerisms are as if he is in a romantic comedy with a real lead constituted of human cells. He really deserved an Oscar nomination for this performance. Scarlet Johansson’s voice act is superb, and left me wishing if I had an operating system just like her.
Spike Jonze masterfully constructs a beautiful drama with enough punches while being as non-conventional as it gets. It hits you only after the movie fades that you were watching a movie about a man talking with his operating system for two hours and yet you had the time of your life. Her looks vibrant. It is an orgasm to the eyes. And the use of landscapes to illustrate how lost Theodore is, is fascinating. The cinematography deserves nothing less than a standing ovation.
Her is a deeply philosophical movie as well. Samantha’s longing to be human shows the same desires that we have at times, to be something that we can’t be. And throughout the movie, this operating system is humanized to such an extent we end up caring about it, loving it, endearing it, feeling angry at it, and just like Theodore, we realize at the end, that it was just an operating system !
Samantha’s longing to be there to experience with Theodore, the moment as we call it, brings in a turmoil that puts Her up with classic like (500) Days of Summer and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The heartbreak is conveyed in a really touching manner.
Theodore is a fascinating character. He switches on his bluetooth whenever he feels lonely. When he just wants to hear someone talking to him. I guess that is why he is deeply attached to Samantha, he just wants to know that someone actually cares. It made me think about the impact technology has on me. I am more of an introvert myself and use Facebook to connect with people. Her explores the dynamics of the changes in social relationships. What used to be done on the streets and parks and schools and offices has now been confined into a room with four walls. It makes a bold statement that it helps on some basis and well as is a curse on some basis, and much depends on how we take it.
Her is a heartbreaking portrayal of how much technology has impacted the social life of human beings. It delivers the message that as long as the two parties concerned in love are happy, they actually don’t need to think about what the ‘others’ will think. With beautiful cinematography, brilliant performances, a mind-blowing voice act from our very own Scarlett Johansson, Her is a must watch.
Rating : 9.3 / 10
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