Published on March 3, 2014 | by Sean McKee

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Film review: Her

★★★★

Cinema poster for 'Her'

Her explores the evolving nature and risks of intimacy in the modern world, bringing a fresh and enlightening approach. [Arunima Rajkumar]

Hollywood has managed to provide us with an original love story in a market saturated with mediocre, albeit star-studded rom-coms. Just when fans thought the market for these movies had exhausted itself, Oscar-nominated film–maker Spike Jonze’s unique portrayal of Her explores the evolving nature and risks of intimacy in the modern world, bringing a fresh and enlightening approach.

The acting is very believable and Joaquin Phoenix is sublime in the standout performance of Theodore Twombly, a guy who falls in love with his artificially intelligent operating system. The more he invests in the relationship, the quicker Samantha (voiced seductively by Scarlett Johansson) grows with intelligence and human feeling.

Although Johansson gives a flawless performance as the voice of Samantha, it is a bit of a stretch from other critics who had tipped her for an Oscar with just a featured voice role – there are more worthy winners than this. Nonetheless, she provides a bright, female voice, who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. She does a great job in showing that as her needs and desires grow in tandem with her owner’s, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other.

Amy Adams is once again likeable, but a bit forgettable in the supporting role of Amy, Theodore’s neighbour who also develops an unhealthy relationship with the female operating system of her ex-boyfriend.

Emotion

Although writer and director Jonze has stated that the film was in no way a story about technology, but rather one about true love and human emotion, there is a sinister undertone throughout the film; almost a warning about the planet’s relationship, and increasing reliance on, our ever advancing technologies.

The film depicts the difficulties Theodore has in interacting with others as a result of his obsession with technology, whether Jonze intended this or not. It strikes a subconscious warning that our interaction with each other, which today is more virtual than real through social media sites, may have a detrimental effect on our most basic human instincts.

A beautiful production with some incredible shots of a slightly futuristic Los Angeles, this incredibly insightful movie is perfect for an alternative watch, and is a worthy winner of the Best Original Screenplay Oscar. Twelve Years a Slave beat it to the Best Picture award.

 

 

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