Her – 126 min, Rated R for language, sexual content and brief graphic nudity
In the not too distant future, a lonely writer has recently come out of a bad relationship. A new operating system is released that come fully equipped with an artificial intelligence that is designed to meet his every need. What he doesn’t expect is to find love and comfort from the AI.
Her is directed by Spike Jonze (Where the Wild Things Are, Being John Malkovich) and it stars Joaquin Phoenix (The Master, Signs) as Theodore Twombly, the lonely writer. Every time I tell someone the premise of this movie I would always get the same response, “that sounds really dumb.” It’s usually something along those lines because in hindsight, Her is about a guy falling in love with his computer. But the story goes much deeper than that and is among some of the best films I’ve seen from 2013.
Spike Jonze is a director’s that makes a movie every few years and leaves his mark in cinema history. You wouldn’t think it but he is one of the creators of the popular TV show, Jackass. He’s even made an appearance by dressing up in a fat suit as a woman on the show. Anyways, Her is the first movie that Jonze directed which was from an original screenplay he wrote. Every technical aspect of the movie was fantastic and it made the future realistic and believable.
Jonze is a great visual director and presented beautiful cinematography. Any time Theodore was walking through the city I was in awe and disbelief by how incredibly beautiful it was. The set pieces made me want to live in his apartment and work in his office. I loved the color palette he chose to use by having the bright’s and dull contrast each other. I never mention costume design in my reviews but I love how Jonze dressed his actors. Since it was in the not too distant future, it felt as if it was a modernized retro look of how we dress today. Hopefully that makes sense. The score and the music used were wonderful and matched the tone of the film. Not only was the production value great but the acting as well.
Her focuses on the relationship between Joaquin Phoenix’s character and the AI, Samantha, which was voiced by Scarlett Johansson. Phoenix gave another incredible performance as Theodore. For the most part of the film, it is a close shot of him as he talks with Samantha. If it weren’t for his great emotions and reactions this film simply wouldn’t work. But he had a lot of with his performance from Samantha Morton (Minority Report, John Carter) who was originally was the voice of the AI. She was on set with his everyday and she deserves some credit towards his performance. It wasn’t until editing that Spike Jonze realized her voice wasn’t working and needed someone new. Scarlett Johansson stepped in and did a wonderful job re-recording all the voice work. I’m not sure if there is another movie like this was an actor’s voice was used in such a capacity where the film wasn’t animated. Phoenix and Johansson had great chemistry on screen and felt as if their relationship was real. It seems odd at first but you can compare it to a couple in a long distant relationship.
Her is one of the movies where its plot sounds ridiculous but it goes deep into the world the world of loneliness and how one can overcome it. Spike Jonze delivers a masterpiece by creating a believable future and inserting the right actors to bring it to life. I highly recommend the film to witness the beauty of Her on the big screen.
5/5 - Masterpiece