Monday, January 13, 2014
Movie review: Her is a beautiful, thought-provoking film
I want to see it again and again.
Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is lonely, depressed man who writes personal letters for people who have difficulties expressing their feelings. He is depressed because he is going through a tough divorce from his childhood sweetheart Catherine (Rooney Mara). Theodore lives day-to-day just stumbling through. That is, until he meets Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the new OS -- artificial intelligence, designed to adapt and evolve. It isn’t just a computer, it is your friend, you helper and more. Theodore becomes fascinated by how Samantha sees the world. They bond over his troubles and her learning what the world is like. But can it last? And where will their developing relationship go? The movie also stars Amy Adams, Chris Pratt, Kristen Wiig, Lynn Adrianna, Lisa Renee Pitts, Gabe Gomez, Matt Letscher and Olivia Wilde.
Her, written and directed by Spike Jonze, is one of those uniquely odd films that isn’t just enjoyable to watch, it leaves you thinking and feeling things you that surprise you. Her is an intricate film that balances a romantic story with subtle commentary on technology and how we as people connect.
There are so many adjectives to describe this movie – strange, silly, smart, funny, touching, quirky, revealing and, in my humble opinion, brilliant. It’s amazing how subtle Jonze is yet seems to have such a poignant outlook on relationships, human connection and of course technology. I appreciate honest films like this. They always seem to be more enjoyable and refreshing than some of the others out there. On top of the emotional side to the film, there is a slight sci-fi angle that gives the whole thing a little something extra. The balance between “the futuristic” nature of the film and the human connection side is beautifully done.
RATING9/10 stars – Her is a great way to start your new year … gives you something to think about.
If everything I have said so far doesn’t convince of the value of this film, then I give you the performances of Phoenix, Johansson and Adams. I have never been a huge Phoenix fan. He has a few top-notch films, but I have never seen a consistency from him. Here in Her, he seems to thrive. He exemplifies every human emotion and situation with ease and beauty. More amazing still is the performance of Johansson. We never see her on-screen, yet you feel her there just as the character Theodore does. I was extremely impressed by her ability to convey such a broad range of emotions and thoughts through only her voice in a two-hour long film.
Her is beautifully crafted film that impressed me and made me think. I am still thinking, actually. I wholeheartedly want to see this movie again and think that everyone, movie goer or not, should see it at least once.
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