February 5, 2014

Spike Jonze's Her

Her is a Spike Jonze film that takes place in the not-so-distant future where they wear high pants and computer keyboards are non-existent. Theodore Twombley (Juaquin Phoenix) is a lonely guy who falls in love with his cell phone named Samantha, but everybody seems to be pretty cool with that.

The premise sounds ridiculous, but the movie is surprisingly good. Once you get past the absurdity, it is an effective drama that explores our relationship with technology. There are some big questions asked in Her, and I'm not sure it ever elaborates on what it is trying to get at; but I'm not sure it really has to. In the end it seems to center on the simple, and maybe cliche, concept that we need to step away from the glowing screens and seek out human interaction.

Overall I really enjoyed the film. It is extremely well made, and anchored by Juaquin's performance. He is on screen for 99% of the movie, most of the time interacting with a only a voice. It is impressive that he is able to make this strange situation feel so genuine. It is worth watching Her just for him.

I did have a few issues with the final third of the film, specially when Samantha starts hanging out with other OS's for these secret cyberspace rendezvous. It seemed to take focus away from the relationship that we were invested in for the first two-thirds of the film. If you've seen Her I'd recommend listening the the /Filmcast episode where Dave & Devindra discuss it. I agree 100% with all of Dave's complaints about the film, and like him I still loved it. When it comes out on dvd I'd definitely recommend checking it out.

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