Release Date: Out now
‘Her’ is Spike Jonze’s latest movie: the tale of Theodore Twombly (portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix) – a man emotionally drained by the darkness of the divorce process, who finds himself falling for Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), an operating system. ‘Her’ is set in the near future and whilst initially this may seem like a vital plot choice to justify the absurdity of a love story between a man and his computer – as the relationship develops, the concept becomes more and more relatable; as you not only realise the mortality of Samantha, but also the similarities of this man/machine bond present in today’s society.
Whilst the genre of the movie is primarily romance, clear elements of comedy and sci-fi are present. This said, Jonze manages to maintain a clear direction by not delving too far into the stereotypes of either comedy or sci-fi by keeping the comedic material on a purely sober level, and also by not shoving the technological developments down your throat: setting it in the not-so-distant future. Theodore is a very delicate man who writes e-letters as a profession for men unable to display the kinds of emotion that he can towards their lovers. Caught in the midst of a divorce with Catherine (Rooney Mara), Theo has become detached from society; avoiding social interaction and spending the majority of his time playing video-games. The OS1 is advertised as the world’s first artificially intelligent operating system: “It’s not just an operating system, it’s a consciousness” is its slogan. When Theodore purchases the OS1, he is introduced to Samantha: a very lovable and unique character in the way that she shows a child-like inquisitiveness about the world whilst possessing a mind boundless in its accessibility to information.
At a time in his life when Theodore has lost passion for all that surrounds him, Samantha’s fascination with the world reignites his lust for life whilst also igniting in him a love for Samantha. Amy (Amy Adams) is a close friend of Theodore who goes from setting him up in an awkward blind-date to offering the much needed approval of his relationship with Samantha at a time when he still holds doubts as to how realistic maintaining the relationship really is. The spark that Theodore allows to develop between the two is touching; complemented wondefully by the brilliant colours and serenely beautiful streets of tomorrow’s LA, this beauty complemented further by Karen O’s stunning track ‘The Moon Song’; written specifically for the film’s soundtrack, it really does work perfectly to accentuate the touching aesthetics of this relationship. This relationship, though, does run into complications. As the two lovers grow together, the limits of the human brain begins to lag behind the infinite ponderings of OS-1, with complex thoughts and feelings that cannot be translated nor comprehended by the human mind developing in Samantha’s system, causing tough differences between the couple.
In ‘Her’, Spike Jonze has managed to create a stunning picture which displays a love affair that whilst probably not being possible for a good few years, when boiled down to its foundations reflects a common relationship of today; you yourself no doubt reading this through your web-browser on a platform that you have more than likely developed a real commitment to. When all is said and done, we would all struggle without our Samantha.