Cinema-Maniac: Her (2013) Movie Review

Technology never ceases to advance to the point that whatever possibilities come forward filmmakers will give their thoughts on the possible outcome of it. Everything from massive takeover to doomsday to near human extinction to elimination of an over reliance on technology. Whatever the audiences decide to categorize “Her” as can see a future and a relationship that correlate with our present time. Giving an entirely fresh perspective on familiar things that might have been lost to some of us.

Her is about a lonely writer developing an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need. It’s far from conventional both as a romance and sci-fi; we’re not beaten over the head that the protagonist is a loser nor does that become trait of his character, the interaction between human and artificial intelligence is not a split between good or evil, and is a genuine representation of the hardships of maintaining a relationship not just getting into one. The story allows time for Samantha to develop mannerism and speaking pattern more in liking of an actual person. That in turn allows Theodore to become more comfortable around her and letting the audiences deeper into Theodore past. Underlying Theodore to see human traits in a new light. All Theodore Twombly and OS Samantha have in their relationship is the capacity to listen to each other. Through their several conversations develop an intimate relationship only with words. This form of communication is all they have and because of that the romance that does not come across being superficial. Samantha might be programmed to follow a specific function, but never once that does it feel the emotions behind Samantha words are artificial. As a romance film it succeeds because the characters are very likable with tackling issues that are down to Earth. Never does it side track from these two relationship, but neither does it limit itself to just it honest depiction of romance. Serving as commentary on society, technology, and the definition of being human. This also leads into understanding the future depicted in the film. Nothing presented in the film depiction of the future seems far off from activities we’re doing right now. Instead it’s presents them on a broader scope from subtle details like people constantly ignoring each other walking on the street, no one questioning why a person is talking to him or herself, and the business aspect that humans might only want to accept what they like. Some strongly feel that machines can never developed to become human, but this film dares to say maybe it’s the other way. Daring to challenge the audiences that we might be living physical beings, but is what we do in our life any different of that of the machines we create.

Joaquin Phoenix in his sensitive and perceptive take on the role aces it. This is a performance that you can identify with. He’s not simply awkward for the sake of being, he has baggage and connection issues. There’s sincerity in his words and mannerisms. As “Samantha,” Johansson has never tapped into the essence of her abilities as an actress the way she does in “Her.” As an OS, full of wonder and curiosity, “Samantha” is essentially a child. Scarlett Johansson, whom exists simply as a voice, has the ability to woo and excite, despite her characters’ obvious limitations, but the two together and it’s a match made partially in reality and coding. Spike Jonze provides a post-modern feel to the film by taking inspirations from the technologies that’s available today, betting on where its next evolutionary leap could be & exploring that breakthrough with grounded realism. Production design puts up an advanced vision of a world that feels strangely familiar. Cinematography makes ingenious use of color palettes and lighting to add more vividness to the story that ultimately contrasts with the colorless world its characters are living in. Editing gives this story a much admirable relaxed pace & the score by Arcade Fire is soul-stirring.

Her deconstructs two genres and takes them both in unconventional directions. It’s an in depth look on romance in a tech heavy age, but confronts the question of what it means to be human. Correlating that in fact artificial intelligence and humans can become one another finding a greater appreciation with those we interact with. Showing the beauty behind interaction some of us presume technology is has long destroyed through a very thoughtful film.

10/10

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