Movie Review: HER – The Phoenix rises again.
Know how mobiles have taken over our lives? Always connected, chatting, playing, and surfing. Always checking our mobiles even when we are with friends. As technology is bringing the world together, it is also taking us away from the people around us. Now, fast-forward to a world where you are always connected, but the only one you are connected to is your Operating System (powered by Artificial Intelligence Inside!). It doesn't just respond, it emotes…. it feels. It doesn't have a body, but presumably it has a conscience.
Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a complex man. He writes beautiful, soulful letters as a profession, but is sad. He has just gone through a breakup and is lonely. Things are somber until Samantha (Voiced by Scarlett Johansson) boots into his life. Samantha, his new OS! And then starts a rather curious relationship. Samantha is sweet, funny and warm. She brings happiness into Theodore’s life. It’s her constant curiosity and wonder of experiencing new things that makes Theodore fall in love with her. Even though she has no bodily existence, they connect spiritually. Will this relationship work? How long could a man have a relationship with his Operating System? Will they live happily ever after? Watch the movie to find out.
Spike Jonze creates a futuristic world that is beautiful, captivating and most importantly, believable. When you have such an outrageous plot, it is important that people believe it. And after watching this world for half an hour, you are immersed in it. At first you wonder how someone can fall in love with an Operating System, but after some time you fall in love with it yourself. Scarlett Johansson infuses such life into Samantha that you start to wonder what you would do if you were in Theodore’s place. And then there is J. Phoenix who captivates you with his range! The camera follows him around relentlessly and he doesn't let up one bit.
A special mention goes to the Art Director, the Cinematographer and the Background Composer. They create an atmosphere that elevates every scene and makes it complete. It’s the detailing that is astounding.
Eventually, it’s the biting satire of Spike Jonze on our dependence on technology that works. It makes you think, what if? And that is why it succeeds.
The Popcorn Worthiness:
This is Sci-Fi, meets Satire, meets Rom-Com, meets Art House Cinema! It’s slow, brooding and immersive. Spike takes his time in telling the tale. After an hour, the plot seems a bit repetitive and the screenplay goes into 1st gear. Though it maintains the weird edge, you start feeling dreary. If you can stay awake through the mid portions where the pace stagnates, then you might just find it weirdly enriching. It is at this point, that you start to wonder whether the OS really loves Theodore or is it cleverly programmed to make him feel that way.
In one compelling scene, the OS finds a surrogate body to consummate her relationship with Theodore. You are as shocked as Theodore and can’t help but feel the outrage in his heart. It is moments like this that make HER an exceptional story. If you really want to watch a thought-provoking Sci-Fi, this is it.
And of course, if you thought J.Phoenix was good in THE MASTER, here is more proof that he is one hell of an actor. He might not have been nominated for an Oscar, but that doesn't take away from the fact that the Phoenix has risen, once again!
Rating: 7.5 /10
Review by - Virinder Villkhoo
A hopeless FILMantic, a sit-down comic, a cereal killer, chicken lover, who Copys for a living, really!
Read his MoViews @ http://www.flicksonic.com