The idea that a person could fall in love with their OS has made many people skeptical of “Her,” but truly this film is more than an unexpected romance. It’s a peephole into what could be our own near-future.
Theodore Twombly, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is a lonely letter-writer suffering through the emotionally devastating process of divorce. One day he decides to purchase the OS1 which claims to be not only an operating system but also a consciousness.
Once home he immediately downloads and boots the new system, soon hearing the pleasing voice of his new OS, Samantha, played by Scarlett Johansson.
Samantha experiences the world through a lens Theodore carries in his shirt pocket while her voice comes to him through an ear bud. Soon their relationship deepens into love which brings along doubts and questions about what it truly means to be human.
Out of all the big movies released this season, “Her” is the film that audiences can discuss for hours.
This is all thanks to director and screenwriter Spike Jonze’s thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and hilarious script. It delves into the boundaries of technology, communication and the heart with complete originality. Though without Phoenix and Johansson, Jonze’s dynamic story would be put to waste.
Joaquin Phoenix allows you to not only feel for Theodore but also share his emotions. He is anyone at the worst time in their life, and his love for Samantha never lessens the humanity of the film. Their relationship feels personal and real. The audience experiences the same joy felt by the characters.
Jonze’s choice of Johansson to play Samantha was simply perfect. Her voice acting is so emotional and full of character. It never seems to matter that there isn’t a body to associate with it. She brings a uniqueness to the role like no one else could.
“Her” is set in a future Los Angeles with bullet trains and towering buildings that look like they were taken from Tokyo.
The clothing and appearance, however, are obviously 70s-esque. In Jonze’s vision, “space men” are out and mustaches are in.
The costume designer, Casey Storm, leaves Theodore without belts on his high waisted pants or collars on his button-up shirts which suggests that in Jonze’s world of the future clothes will be tailored to fit, and men’s apparel will be collar-less.
Women, on the other hand, seem to be the ones finding these missing collars — giving women’s clothing a much more masculine feel.
Will there come a time in our near-future when attributes of the male and female gender become less concrete?
“Her” is a romantic-comedy and sci-fi drama worth seeing once or a dozen times. Theodore is someone you come to care for and Samantha, as Theodore mentions, is definitely not just a computer.
The Alabamian gives this film a 10/10.