Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is an introvert writer who helps people to scribe beautiful e-messages to their loved one. But Theodore struggles to have a meaningful relationship with women while finds it difficult to move forward from his separation from his ex-wife Catherine (Rooney Mara). But his life dramatically changed when he buys a new operating system which is voiced by a female-bot Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) and falls in love with “her”.
Spike Jonze's “Her” is a remarkable experiment-movie, studded with lots of his usual signatures which intentionally caters for the humanoid relationship in-and-out. It is a movie that gazes upon our own reflection – how dependable we are with our smart-devices. It will comes to a day in our future when we would rather interact with the OS, videogame avatar that talks with you and the border of love intimacy is blurred by techno-fantasy – and “Her” is a benevolent story that tells the reality of that particular day.
Joaquin Phoenix is perfectly cast as Theodore, a loner but heart warm divorcee who eventually finds a more meaningful relationship with his OS. It is from the POV of Theodore that we see great moments in life been told with elements that are so witty and sometimes heartbreaking, against the beautiful and colourful distant-future setup that illuminates the idiosyncratic setting. When Scarlett Johansson’s Samantha enters the picture, their relationship is taken to an even more complex situation than first thought.
Working for double shift as director and sole writer, Jonze puts off a hooking movie experience that delves into the retrospective-yet-simplistic story that mixes comedy, romance and drama into a complacent pot complete with a well-layout plot structure to deal with. “Her” seems aptly like a response to the similarly-behaving Bill Murray’s Oscar-nominated “Lost in Translation” which also discovers loneliness and awkward social culture. Ironically “Lost in Translation” was directed by Jonze’s ex-wife Sofia Coppola and there are imminent discussions how both of this movies are made from their mirrors.
A general audience may find it wordy and practically slow but the patience is quite rewarding towards the end. Some may also find Theodore-Samantha’s relationship is too-stretched. All the way through the long 126-minute drama, the emotional dots right at the end pretty much hitting the sensible way we look at the social today. Arcade Fire’s William Butler and Owen Pallett collectively compose one of the best original score which is also a great complement to the movie experience.
Sure, “Her” is one of the best movies from 2013 and it serves as a reminder of how technology is affecting human relationship – a theme this movie so gracefully connecting high and low. Spike Jonze’s high visionary is channeled through an excellent piece of screenplay with amazing talents all across the cast and reinvigorating the idea that runs so close to our life.