Directed: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson & Amy Adams
Running: 126 min
Spike Jonze has played a hand in directing a plethora of peculiar films most noticeably favoring the short film genre and proudly credited for the hilarious writing involved in the Jackass movies and Bad Grandpa of recent. With the Academy awards around the corner Spike Jonze's latest is a mellowed take on one man's relationship with his computer (to be frank). Nominated for best movie along with Dallas buyers Club, 12 years a slave etc. Her will be credited for its relevance in terms of technology with a sci-fi twist lingering in the background. Its beautiful surroundings are not forced upon, rather trusting the viewer to engage in its leading protagonist which proves both humorous and heartfelt.
Theodore (Joaquin Pheonix) has an attaching occupation in writing letters of lust, heartbreak and celebration to people around the world; which is ironic regarding his own troubles. Theodore is content in his social life and happy to play 3D video games in his spare time. Flashbacks of his previous relationship tells a different story, showing the hesitance in Theodore as his wife awaits his signature on the divorce papers. The metropolitan concept is quite surprising, leaving us to assume that Theodore's time on earth is certainly not modern. We see this in the premise of his job occupation, the design of his room, the video games, and more importantly, the OS1; the world's first artificial intelligent operating system. To suit that of his lifestyle and workload Theodore purchases the advanced application resulting in a relationship like no other.
Much to his surprise, OS1 is a conscience, so much so that her name is Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). Samantha seems like the hole missing in Theodore's lonely lifestyle and fulfills an emotional attachment that Theodore has been seeking to overcome, and does so by falling in love with Samantha.
While the plot may sound peculiar on paper, some will be surprised to find themselves adapting to Theodore's ambition to make this work, and work it does; as from there we see the bright side of Theodore who, for the first time in a long time is able to share the joys in life with Samantha who is occasionally taken on trips around the beautiful city. Samantha is so impressed with seeing the world through Theodore's pocket camera that she starts to develop a personal attachment to Theodore making "Her" even weirder, but funny and heartfelt as the story progresses.
Her does well in its focus on certain people in Theodore's life, who, just like him, are not happy in the life they lead. One of these is the wonderful Amy (Amy Adams) who's relationship with Charles (Matt Letscher) is far from steady, seeking friendly comfort in Theodore who have so much in common, however the OS1 trend is something that separates any potential lust. And that is what Spike Jonze does so good in highlighting the wave of technology to a point of unsociable engagement, highlighting the technological advancement that exists among modern society, crafting a love story between Theodore and his computer so legitimately that we don't question it. Although I will say that "Her" could have knocked thirty minutes off as it is a little dragged out to the point of feeling that its once sense of direction was at a loss.
Her is pretty much a one man show, therefore there are not many characters to discuss apart from Joaquin Phoenix who gives a great performance in what looks a simple film to be part of, but it is the camera angles that capture the various emotions from Phoenix and his ability express circumstances through his witty dialog and facial expressions. Her is a great movie that is not for everyone (unfortunately). Its concept is silly, but one must recognise the human emotions attached to such a story. The beautiful scenery has gotten more attention than the finished plot. It will not win best film and it is not unfortunate considering what it's up against.
Overall: A really enjoyable, beautifully original love story that offers some laughs. Joaquin Phoenix is the only reason to see it, and while the concept is not for everyone, the presence of Phoenix can not be missed, even if the movie is an unnecessary length.