There are science fiction movies, there are AI movies and there are romantic comedies and then there is ‘Her’. Spike Jonze presents us with a Sui Generis combination of all these in a single movie. ‘Her’ is not about technological advances, it is not about those science fiction flicks wherein machines just take over the mankind and establish themselves above humans to rule the world in some or the other way. Yes, in a way it is similar to the futuristic movies where people are in search of truth about themselves and society, but in altogether different way.
‘Her’ takes place in near future. We have our protagonist Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a divorced, lonely man who has an incredible job of composing letters on behalf of people who’re too busy to write to their loved ones. He purchases a new OS which is interacting. Interacting doesn’t only mean to accept commands and reply in robotic voices, but also features lovely voice of Scarlet Johansson who names itself as Samantha. Initially, it performs tasks like organising Mailbox among lot of other stuff. But this OS Is not limited to perform mundane activities but it evolves itself and learns about Theodore by reading his mails and voice patterns and the two began having conversations and gradually fall in love.
‘Her’ deals with tender emotions of isolation and solitude which tech savvy and people dependent on virtual social world are facing. It goes beyond and tries to discover a healthy romantic relationship that is possible between a man and machine.
Samantha does not exist physically but she is always there with Theodore through his mobile phone linked with his OS. He goes around the city having his mobile phone stuck in his Shirt pocket and Samantha peeping out of it in the form of a camera and hissing in his ears through the earphones. see Theodore taking his cell phone on a date to the beach, whispering sweet nothings into the microphone. This makes for a lovely scene as does the scene where Theodore’s colleague and his girlfriend suggest that they go out on a double date. But Jonze stretches his idea a little thin when he gives us a scene in which Samantha recruits a surrogate to have sex with Theodore on her behalf, speaking to him through an earpiece.
Excellent background score with lot of melancholy preserves the integrity of every scene. With his orange and bright shirts when Theodor’s mood is all gay; with his pants up to his ribs presents how careless he is about his outer appearances. In every frame when Theodore is talking to Samantha we have him and other people wearing bright colours and the tall skyscrapers look black and white as if they don’t deserve any importance.
Apart from one of the best performance coming out of Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlet Johansson we also have wonderful Amy Adams in role of Theodor’s friend best friend.
Many things could be said about the movie. But I would like to avoid spoilers and stop here.
Well, with all this ‘Awards Buzz’ going around, ‘Her’ may not get an Oscar given the so called ‘Standards’ of Academy for judging any film. For me by far it was one of the best films I have ever seen. More than accolades it gets, I would like to satisfy myself with a sweet smile that appeared on my face so many times while watching ‘Her’.