Movie Review #454: Her

There are so many words to describe it, but excellent is the best one

If I had a time machine and decided to go back to the 50’s or 60’s with the sole purpose of showing the world how cinema has evolved through the years, I wouldn’t bring a dumb summer blockbuster to wow them with CGI. No, I’d rather present them with a story and a premise that’s way ahead of their time, just to mess up their minds.

A perfect fit for my diabolical plan would be Her, a film even I didn’t know was possible until I saw it and was blown away by its idea. It’s an uncanny fusion of romantic comedy, art-house drama, and even sci-fi and I love how everything ties up and how it helped shape the story of Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a human being that ends up in a relationship with a highly-advanced operating system named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johannson). The two leads are phenomenal in their own ways, convincing in every moment of interaction between human and computer. Even Scarlett’s physical absence can’t stop me from feeling she pulled off arguably the greatest performance of I’ve seen (or heard) from her. And then there’s the beautiful cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema and score from Arcade Fire to top it all off.

The more I think about it, the more there is to explore. The Theo-Samantha angle was just the tip of the iceberg. Two people who have seen and enjoyed the movie could end up talking about it for days. From the technology being used, to how it affects who and how we love to topics concerning changes in human behavior, layers upon layers of interesting themes are there for discussing. And by the time we get to the core, we would’ve exhausted all our questions involving the movie’s ideas, yet still question our very existence. If that isn’t thought provoking, I’m not sure what is.



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