Tag Archives: Romance

Cinema-Maniac: The Shape of Water (2017)

The Best Picture Oscar is an award that puts movies on my radar, but don’t go into with high expectations. For me, there’s a general discontent between me, and the Oscars in what is consider great filmmaking. On occasion I can agree with them like the decision to not nominate The Dark Knight (2008) for Best Picture since it was essentially a gritty live action Saturday morning cartoon. Then, there’s everything else that baffles me on the Oscars standards; 2014 had Gravity (2013) nominated for Best Picture despite it’s glaring weak writing, 2016 Mad Max: Fury Road for Best Picture again for glaring weak writing, 2017 Best Picture winner Moonlight which got over hyped despite the fact itself is a quiet film that was well made, and now The Shape of Water joins that rank in 2018. Much like the other best picture winners, and nominees mentioned I don’t think they’re bad movies. They just don’t live up to the pedigree when being associated with the category of Best Picture anything.

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Michael Shannon doesn’t look evil enough here, give him some devil horns.

The Shape of Water is set during the 1960s, centering around a lonely janitor forming a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity. Out of the films in Guillermo del Toro filmography this is the most plain, and least subtle of his films. It’s themes about outsiders being demonize is clear as day, characters being good & bad is nearly impossible to miss with their dialogue, and the whole intention of this being a fairy tale set in a real world is always seen. When it comes to this film’s theme, and writing everything is easy to grasp, but without much depth to it. That’s fine, but not when the contrast is stark between two conflicting halves of a movie. In the same way it’s real world aspects conflicts with the fairy tale like narrative.

For starter, the first half is a slow, absorbing movie chronicling the average lives of an “other” to put it simply, and how they feel lonely in the world. Characterizing the mute heroine Elisa (Sally Hawkins), Soviet spy scientist Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg), and a tormented artist Giles (Richard Jenkins) pretty directly. They all at some point talk about being lonely, misunderstood, and not knowing the companionship of a soulmate. These topics are further accentuated by the discovery of an unknown Amphibian Man who is experimented on. Through Elisa interaction with the Amphibian Man, and the cruel experiments Hoffstetler is forced to witness all set out to understand the unknown creature. All the meanwhile being held captive in a secret laboratory with the racist head honcho Stirland (Michael Shannon) seeking to kill that which he doesn’t understand. When describing the movie like this it’s easier to see why I consider it’s storytelling to be similar to a fairy tale; simple themes, simple story, and simple characters. What holds this first half together wonderfully is how intimate everything feels from the natural dialogue between friends to the individual characters hardships longing to belong somewhere.

Where the illusion of being a fairy tale more or less falls apart is in its real world aspects, and the second half of the story. Mentions of the cold war, racial discrimination, gays not being welcome at a diner, and other details reflecting real world issues are sprinkle throughout. Figuring out what Guillermo del Toro was trying to do by incorporating these elements is uncertain. The commentary of the acceptance, and understanding of people different from us is obvious, but what about the other details surrounding that. It’s uncertain, and the film’s writing doesn’t provide these answers. In the same way it handle it themes, details that mirror the real world aren’t looked into. It’s wasn’t Guillermo del Toro intention to delve into these issues; instead all I could ponder about is maybe the film is also about old fashioned ideals that brewed hatred, and how it’ll brews disdain, and violence of those you discriminate against when choosing to keep yourself in a bubble. I’m not going to spoil this movie specific plot points, but I did see enough in what it told where coming to such a conclusion is possible to interpret.

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The movie is filled with lovely sets like this. Top notch production design all around.

Of course, the second half is likely where it’ll lose viewers. Further losing the illusion of being a fairy tale with 1960s aesthetics, and in its place is gap in logic, and plot conveniences that increases as the film progresses. One such event includes a moment when the Amphibian Man run outs of it hiding place, and goes out in the open with our characters having to search for it. In all this commotion, not a single person spots the Amphibian Man, and even more convenient is the place where the Amphibian Man is found doesn’t have a single person inside it either. Another example of leaps in logic is how simplistic the plan to get the Amphibian Man free from the laboratory is, and further astonishing is that it actually works. Making you also question with such a valuable specimen why is it so lax in security for it. Questions like this only increases in the second half. Another trait lost in the second half is the relationship building between Elisa, and the Amphibian Man. The first half dedicated time to Elisa, and the Amphibian Man making a connection, and finding a way to communicate. In its second half, it rushes through this. Maybe it’s intentional by design since time in the first half moves slower compare to the events that transpire in the second half. I could definitely see it being Elisa, and the Amphibian Man romance making time feel minoot when with a soulmate. Although, as a film, it’s also a missed opportunity to naturally let it grow.

Del Toro eyes for visuals is capture through cinematographer Dan Laustsen, and production designer Paul D. Austerberry creating creating multiple atmospherically rich worlds. From the cold, and harsh interiors of the laboratories to Elisa apartment filled with green for an underwater feel. Submerging the viewers in a clammy wet mood, rain streaming down the windows, and shadows wavering on the walls elegantly set the mood. Capturing the pleasing, and old fashion style of 1960s America with a dark underbelly when Michael Shannon is on screen. Echoing a darker world amidst it’s beauty. When it comes together set to the ever changing moody score from Alexandre Desplat’s from wistful, and sorrow will immortalize certain images in your mind.

Sally Hawkins delivers a nuance performance portraying plenty about her character without saying a word. She’s understated in capturing every ounce emotion providing a sense of wonder, intrigue, and tragedy through movement. Her eyes, and the way she expressive herself is one of the film’s many technical strength. Michael Shannon receives the short end of the stick out of everyone in the cast. He’s has to play a racist, and misogynist villain, and make him unlikable. Shannon mores than hams it up in his scenes ensuring every bit of his mannerism, and expression is as slimy as possible. Only thing less subtle about Shannon performance would be him literally hanging a sign around his neck written with “Obviously evil bad guy” on it. Richard Jenkins is basically a more vocal version of Sally Hawkins, but equally just as tremendous in action. Sorta being the emotional voice that Sally Hawkins cannot have making every scene he’s in believable, and his friendship with Sally Hawkins seems more genuine for it. Octavia Spencer is humorous through her many scenes, and sympathetic when needs to be. Michael Stuhlbarg is much like Michael Shannon in getting a role that doesn’t require much from him, but plays it it well.

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We shall eat your children tonight Creature of the Black Lagoon

Doug Jones plays the Amphibian Man in a costume that is impressive in detail, and allows Doug Jones to do everything he needs to bring the creature to life. Acting like a scared animal, Jones makes the Amphibian Man alluring in its behavior. Meticulously moving unlike a human, and sounding more like a beast through his screams than a man. Creating a creature with a soul that’s easy to be lose sight over the thought it’s a mere man in a costume. It’s quite a joy to see a costume so rich in detail from the wet scales, the fish like fins around its arms, and the several combination of different Amphibian creatures into a human like structure. Plus, it’s possibly the only time you’ll see an Amphibian Man in a musical number which personally was a treat to view since I do have a soft spot for some silly B-movie pictures too.

The Shape of Water doesn’t live up the pedigree of a award winning film, but if one can get over that hurdle there’s plenty to like about the movie on a technical, and writing level. Del Toro eye for visuals is just as strong as ever, and so is his love for old cinema replicating the feel, and look of a classic movie. Being a heartfelt mishmash of his love for old school creature feature like Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) with his love of classic cinema like E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982) portraying otherworldly bonds. It’s a film that from Guillermo del Toro that feels as every bit as passionate, and sincere as its leading characters. It’s second half is where most viewers will be tested containing the biggest lap in logic, and rushed relationship which is meant to be the centerpiece of the film. Being best described as a E.T. the Extra Terrestrial for adults it’s dreamy in its imagery, but much like Sally Hawkins character that lives above a theater roaming with fantastical images, the real world eventually creeps in, and ends the fantasy. It’s nowhere near the pedigree of other Best Picture winners like many will allude too, but it’s a movie I wouldn’t mind revisiting to be lost again in its dream.

Rating: 10/10

Cinema-Manic: Best of the Best (1992)

Best of the Best follows Dee (Jacky Cheung) a member of the SDU, Hong Kong’s version of SWAT, who engages in a personal vendetta when his new girl Heidi (Sammi Cheng) turns out to be the daughter of evil triad Ngan Kwan (Paul Chun). If this synopsis sounds like an interesting movie to you, sorry to say, but it’s a slough of a movie to get through. Before the title card of the movie comes up, it shows Dee enjoying a birthday as a kid with his brother, and father resulting in a tragic incident resulting in the death of his brother. The person responsible for accidentally killing his brother is Little Ball (Ng Man-tat), Dee’s own father, whom hit his own son in the head with a gas cylinder during a scuffle with a criminal. At first, I thought the story was going to take the route of being more of a drama with some action sequences sprinkle in. This sequence while rushed sets it up that way. It doesn’t happen as the film is neither about redemption, forgiveness, and moving forward. Instead, what’s the movie focuses on romance that feels undercooked despite the amount of time dedicated to it. On top of that, opportunities that could have taken more advantage of the premise to the romance eventful isn’t taken.

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I could also use drink after watching this movie.

So dumbfounded by this, imagine my surprise less than half an hour into the movie seeing meandering scene, after meandering scene to only realize it’s going to focus on the romance aspect of its story. Confusing since the movie takes a while before even introducing the love interest Heidi, yet feels compel to rush the growth of the relationship. It takes so long before the actual main story props it head in making previous events feel disjointed. Going from a rescue mission inside a mall to a date doesn’t make a good transition between directions. Granted, action logic dictates a damsel in distress might fall in love with the hero after saving her from four gun wielding masked goons, and pulling her out of a car seconds away from exploding. However, action movie logic doesn’t excuse the rushed romance, the lack of direction, tonal inconsistency, and especially boredom. Half the reason for my boredom results in the same the couple simply talking about daddy issues, and the other time talking about running away when both characters grown adults. They don’t have the same restrictions applied to them if they were teenagers meaning they have less obstacles in their way if they both choose to run away together.

A major reason for this feeling like a chore to me was the lack of involvement with the characters. For example, Dee works with SDU, and no point considers putting his father, or any other love ones under some sort protection from  Ngan Kwan once his men attack him more frequently. Pointlessly endangering people around him that shouldn’t be caught up in it just because he’s head over heels for Heidi. Then there’s also Heidi who also doesn’t go to police to ensure her lover safety. Heck, she could have threaten her father to that she would tell the police incriminating details about his dealings just to make sure he backs off. She doesn’t do this either. Aside from not getting help when available, there’s also the lone that Dee’s conflict with Little Ball remains underdeveloped for the whole film. Once the time skip occurs, there’s no expansion on the trouble relationship between Dee, and his father. There’s no step forward for Dee to finally forgive his father, and there’s no progression in forgiving himself for the incident that push his son away from him.

There’s also the untapped potential of exploring years of hatred Dee has against his father action as a abusive police officer. If explored, it would explain why Dee is dedicated as he is to being a good SDU officer. Bringing me to the gift his brother gave to him before he died. While the sentiment is nice to have its main character carry around a memento he cherish from his brother it’s no point used to further expand on anything. There’s a point in the film where Dee’s loses the gift his brother gave him while dealing with his drunk father on the streets. Instead of using as another hurdle that has to be overcome, or Dee finally letting go of the tragic event. What the film does is simply play some sad music, close up on Jacky Cheung being sad, and end. Scratching my head wondering what was the point of establishing Dee’s brother gift as something significant if the story itself doesn’t do any with it.

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Jacky! Don’t asleep on duty!

Characterization is fairly handle well. While the romance of Dee, and Heidi suffer because it’s chooses to rush instead of building it is their weakest point. As individual characters their some interesting ideas surrounding them. Sadly, that all they end up being, ideas that could have been. For instance, the film after the timeskip is somewhat lighthearted during it romantic scenes, but the film progresses it slowly get harsher. However, because of the opening sequence the harshness immediately goes into lighthearted, and back into harshness instead of just being a steady flow from one tone to another. Then finally, despite the 90 minute length of Best of the Best half of it simply feels like it meanders around. This could be due to several reasons; it’s nearly half an hour before the main storyline even gets established, information that be given out quickly take longer than needed, and around half of the plot points don’t go anywhere. Even when there was action on screen the feel even made those boring due to a lack of urgency stemming from characters disappearing, and appearing inconsistently in the story. One thing it is consistent at is failing to create anything remotely engaging.

Jacky Cheung plays SDU officer Dee, and his acting is above average. It isn’t good because simply feels like he directly reading from the script instead of being the character. There’s many moments where Jacky Cheung is meant to be saddened by certain events, but puts on a sad face, and calls it a day. However, the limited material him (along with the rest of the cast) is his biggest hurdle. In that sense, he what is required of him adequately enough. However, it is a rather poor showing of his acting abilities when he comes across no differently in his tearjerker scenes as he does in his romance scenes.

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Looks like someone else is drinking their troubles away as well.

Sammi Cheng plays Heidi it’s underwhelming. When she’s meant to be cheery she is cheery. When she has to be sad she is sad. In this movie at least, she’s not capable of doing much with her material coming off unconvincing whenever she is required to be serious. Her only decent moments of acting are when the film picks up a lighter tone. However, as soon as that disappears her delivery feels robotic. Paul Chun plays Ngan Kwan, and with the exception of one scene in the climax he’s even worse. Given the direction wanted to do something serious, Chun over acting is out place in the movie. He can’t make a one dimensional character any fun, or hateable since he simply just shouts all his lines, and hoping scary sounding music will help mask some of his stoic line delivery.

The best actor is Ng Man-tat, and that’s simply because he comes off as the most pathetic out of the cast. Man-tat character is constantly depressed whenever he talks to his son, and attempts to be happy when he’s not around. During his dramatic scenes, he pour everything he could into those scenes more than the writing actually did. Convincingly getting across he’s a tortured soul who still wants to be a good father, but doesn’t know the right path. It’s Ng Man-tat who is the one bright spot among the better than average acting. Sadly, that puts everything else beneath him.

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One of the film’s few rare moments of not being boring.

Final thing worth even bringing are the action scenes, and they are all poor. Director Herman Yau simply wanted to get them done as quickly as possible. Making what little action is has seem underwhelming because there’s no coordination in it. There’s also a lack of creativity in them; like a chase sequence that requires Jacky Cheung to run away from a dozen armed goons. A majority of the chase sequence simply has him running through alleys, throwing some objects to throw his pursuers off, entering a more confined place to get a lead, and just barely making it into a taxi to getaway. There’s other action sequences like these, but very few have of them have me as bored as Best of the Best. The climax suffers from a lack of proper staging as Jacky Cheung simply goes into a wide open public area, start shooting baddies, and enters a building to confront Paul Chun. This whole climatic sequence doesn’t have much happening in it. The one stunt that occurred in this scene involved a stuntman laying down in a incinerator of sorts for a couple of seconds before the camera cuts. It’s not spectacular in execution, but it’s something eventful that required effort to capture. This is one of those films where even the action won’t keep you awake.

Best of the Best aims to be more than your standard average action, but ends up being worse as a whole because of it. It’s a half baked drama with boring characters, a romance that overtakes the story forgetting it’s intention, and becoming a total mess of a movie by the end it. It’s a movie that doesn’t accomplish anything, nor rewards viewers with much for their investment in it.

Rating: 2/10

Cinema-Maniac: Brooklyn (2015) Review

Simplicity isn’t something I demand when it comes to films. One reason being I prefer films that offer plenty for me to analyze either on a technical, or narrative level. Another reason being when it comes down to it simple stories, and simple characters are easy to fully comprehend on one viewing. Leaving very little to ponder once the film ends. Sometimes offering no reasons to rewatch a simple film in the future if I understood everything I wanted on a single viewing. At the same time it’s a necessity to have simplicity in films because not every great story, and masterpiece needs complexity. I would much rather have films like Whiplash which while not an amazing viewing experience soars in accomplishing its single minded goal as opposed to something that collapsed under its own weight. Brooklyn I would place alongside with a film like Whiplash; both films didn’t provide anything amazing of an experience from the reception they received, but they accomplished what they set out to do with little to no hiccups.

Brooklyn is about an Irish immigrant, Ellis (Saoirse Ronan), who lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local while being torn up between two countries she loves. The film is a simple mixture of coming age, and romance that doesn’t get elaborate. It follows a simple three act structure, and is linear as a film can traditionally get. What differentiate it from a traditional romance film is nothing in the film is overly dramatize. Conversations feel natural with dinner scenes serving to get across the passage of time without directly stating it. These dinner scenes also provide the films with most of the jokes as well as some insight into some it characters. Everything in the film is written to get across the most amount of information with simple dialogue. Working wondrously for the film.

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Oh, been wondering what happened to Carrot Top.

The romance isn’t the main focus of the film, but rather use as a narrative tool to show growth in Ellis life. Showing Ellis as young timid girl to eventually becoming an adult woman. Her interaction with her love interest, Tony (Emory Cohen), changes her as a person, and seeing those changes is what makes the romance effective. Much like Ellis, Tony feels like an actual person expressing the kind of life he desires with Ellis. In his own understated way contributes more to the film than just being a love interest. Another appealing aspect of the romance is how it portrayed. There’s no flair to any of it. One example of this is when Tony confesses to Ellis he loves her, and the scene is neither accompanied by music, nor characters making a big deal out of it. Simply being treated as another part of the relationship. Granted a love confession in serious relationship is significant, but the way it written it intently wants the audience to know every moment between these two is significant no matter the context.

As a coming of age film it has the message of growing up is filled with hardship, but an added bonus is actually seeing the character growth in the film. It does not end when Ellis experience a life altering event by moving to 1950s America. The film instead uses the opportunity of Ellis growing to make her face a serious dilemma. Viewing the conflict she face with in a new light as oppose in the beginning of the film where she viewed it like a young adult simply going along with what everyone else wanted. It’s also very clever how it uses a one off character within the first act of the film to be a fulfilling showcase of far of a person Ellis came in her journey. In terms of a tone it plays out a bit like a fantasy before the third act where reality comes crashing down. While there is the issue of living in an entire country feeling homesick, and trouble socializing it never overcomes Ellis life. She is simply able to deal with her problems directly. If not, then she’ll asks her friends, or family for advice.

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Creed: With arms with open.

If there is any serious issue with the film writing it would be the climax of the film. Once Ellis has to decide to live in Ireland with a newfound purpose, or go back to the US to a life that helped her transition into adulthood. The catalyst, or motive that determines Ellis decision feels tacked on plain, and simple. Throughout the film, it makes an attempt to make both 1950’s America, and Ireland as desirable places to live without any serious problems that is too much to handle. However, after a conversation with someone Ellis didn’t like in her past it reminds her of everything she hated that particular country. Here lies the simple problem of the audience not knowing what Ellis specifically means. This film starts out with Ellis spending her last day in Ireland before going to America, and that’s honestly all the viewer is given on Ireland. She experience similar events in both the US, and Ireland. Viewers only gain a full understanding of how much the US means to her as oppose to Ireland where it comes across as a repeat of what Ellis experienced in America. However, like the rest of the film, this is an understated moment that does not dramatize the climax “movie moment” kind of way. The same applies to the ending. While subtle in showing how much Ellis grew as a person it is also understated. Everything about the is simple to comprehend, and in a understated execution succeeds in what it tackles.

Much like the screenplay by Nick Hornby, the acting is once again understated, but for simple reasons. None of the performances are powerhouses, though they’re all fine because of the film’s direction. Saoirse Ronan takes leading the role as Ellis portraying in one of her most challenging role. She comes off as awkward, naive, sincere, funny, and other shades of her character. What is best about this performance is how steadily she transition into becoming an adult. It’s a steady change that retains her character established traits with a new boost of confidence. She expresses through her performance how much she matured, and her facial expressions gets it across vividly. There is a not a scene in the film where you’ll be impressed by her acting since the entire film is subdue in emotion. Taking a timid woman at the start of the film, and convinces viewers she’s now a strong individual. Still, it’s another noteworthy performance from Saoirse Ronan who doesn’t have to put up a fake American in this film which is another plus.

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I’ll take any opportunity to post a image of Saoirse Ronan. What? I like her.

The other performances are overshadowed by Saoirse Ronan. Of course it’s because she the leading actress, but there’s rarely a scene where she’s not present. Only Emory Cohen gets the most of amount of screen time of the supporting cast. His performance is also sincere, and very believable in his performance. The moments he shares with Saoirse Ronan are sweet. They’re both good onscreen together. Acting veterans like Jim Broadbent, and Julie Walters aren’t utilize much in the films. Walters can deliver a funny line, but with the exception of one scene she’s mostly spent her time in the dinner scenes with some kind of reference to god. Jim Broadbent is in the film less so since his only purpose seems to be to deliver a plot point to get the story rolling. He doesn’t get to do much in the film, but doesn’t takes it seriously nonetheless to not be a distraction. Then there’s Domhnall Gleeson who only appears in the third act. His chemistry with Saoirse Ronan makes it possible to believe why Ronan character can like him, even if they spent less time together. 

Supporting actors like Hugh Gormley, Brid Brennan, Maeve McGrath, Emma Lowe, Barbara Drennan, Fiona Glascott, Jane Brennan, Eileen O’Higgins play typical characters. Being used mostly to portray the nice old lady, the woman who has trouble maintaining relationship, the depressed mother, the irritable old woman, and other archetypes. As you might have imagined none of these archetype are exaggerating the personality. Director John Crowley doesn’t miss anything when it comes to details in the costumes, and showing visually showing good distinction between two countries. Yves Belanger cinematography is visually the most interesting part of the film. Offering some standard wide shots, but it’s at it best when it comes to showing the most out of its actors performances. Music is composed by Michael Brook offering a classic sounding soundtrack to the film, and having some Irish music. John Crowley is smart enough to know when to place music, and when not too.

Brooklyn is a film that will leave viewers conflicted at the raving reception it received. While in no way close to resembling a bad film it’ll nonetheless contribute to disappointment by its many raving reviews that it receives. This will make some viewers expect something grander than what they will actually see. On the contrary, if you want a coming of age, and romance that is more down to earth than Brooklyn is the film for you. It’s has sweet moments of romance without being sugarcoated. Has the ability to gripping without over dramatizing any events. By all, it’s a simple film that knows how to tell a simple tale without many layers on it, and when it works nearly this flawlessly it doesn’t have to be more than it is.

9/10

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