February 16, 2014

TV/Film: Review - Her

I was pretty intrigued when I saw the trailer for Her. I rate Juaoquin Phoenix as an actor, I thought he was particularly sick playing Johnny Cash in Walk The Line. Throw in Scarlett Johanson as the sultry, yet admitedly disembodied, Samantha and add to that writing and directing from Spike Jonze (of Wolf of Wall Street and Where The Wild Things Are fame) and as far as I was concerned they were onto a winner.

Overall, I wasn't wrong. The direction of the film is first class, breathtaking cityscapes are aplenty during brooding night time scenes. Brightly coloured clothing and building interiors are all also fantastically coordinated. It all comes together to create a near futuristic setting that also feels decidedly dated, the clothing they wear is plain but colourful, there are no space suits or flying cars. If anything Theodore and Samantha's world is so similar to ours but just different enough, that's part of what makes the film so compelling.

I Love You Siri

The film's exploration of technology and it's advancement is the most gripping and sometimes uncomfortable aspect of Her's experience. The idea of an almost sentient operating system that is self aware and responsive to your emotions and every need has always held a special significance to the human race and Her explores what it might really be like for that dream to become a reality. And although at times the idea seems fantastic, at others it feels bleak and depressing. The film is interspersed with scenes of a crowded street where no one is communicating except with their OS. Add to this the fact that a large majority of the film's dialogue is between Theodore and his A.I. girlfriend Samantha and you start to wonder whether this future is appealing at all. I really think this is what Spike Jonze was aiming for, the love story is like any other in many ways but the film is full of pathos about the way in which our relationship with technology is damaging our innate need and innate ability to communicate with each other. 

Good: Thought provoking and visually stunning

Bad: Some uncomfortably strange scenes


Written by Ryan Hill

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