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Review: Her

Her – by Divya Prem

Written and Directed by Spike Jonze.

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Olivia Wilde.

Spike Jonze’s latest explores the frailty of human relationships, amidst the burgeoning world of technology in the not too distant future. ‘Her’ is set a couple of decades from now, and tells of the life of Theodore Twombly, a young and introverted man working for a virtual correspondence company. The trials of his days revolve around him speaking into his computer and thus simultaneously creating emotive greeting cards or letters for other people. He lives a lonely life; with a handful of friends that he sees occasionally, and has just recently separated from his wife who was also his childhood sweetheart. His life seems to progress to nothingness, when he stumbles upon a new technological operating system with an artificial intelligence that speaks and has its own personality. Theodore purchases it, creating a female ‘friend’ in the system that inherently christens itself as Samantha.  His relationship with Samantha grows, as she grows and evolves to become more and more like a real person; without the physical attributes. It is an idyllic relationship, but Theodore soon finds himself confronted with many internal conflicts as well as the human desire for a physical relationship.

‘Her’ is a very interesting look into a future of modernity, as well as the evolving nature of human relationships that has to go along with it. We see bits of these attributes today as well, as seen in the self involved nature that gadgets tend to lead us involuntarily into. People hardly speak anymore to one another in this future, having a medium between each other to relay messages, or even to have relationships with. It is a somewhat frightening concept, but we grow and evolve as needed. Even amidst all the impersonal attributes of this future, Spike Jonze has brilliantly blended it with the all time nostalgic notion of the tinges of first love. What Theodore feels for Samantha, is precisely what any person would feel during the initial stages of most human relationships. It is an unconventionally beautiful yet melancholic love story, and Joaquin Phoenix played Theodore with the right amount of self depreciation and sensitivity that this character needed. With the right wry comedic timing, the movie delivers on every aspect, without being futuristically pretentious as well as having an incredible amount of heart and soul. Catch this one.

 

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