Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review: Her

                                      A Unique Yet Touching Sci-Fi Story Comes With 'Her'

                         Over the years, we have become pretty attached to technology. But Her shows just what could happen if we literally become attached to our technological devices as if we were in a relationship with them, and it does it realistically while still retaining its sci-fi elements.

                      Her is about a lonely man named Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) who just ordered his own Siri-type operating system that calls itself "Samantha" (Scarlett Johansson). As he grows more attached to Samantha, he feels that his discomfort with being in love and with commitment would vanish, but he realizes that he has trouble letting go of his past relationship with his ex-wife Catherine (Rooney Mara).

                     What I Liked About It:
                    First off, I loved the way that the movie looks. The whole futuristic look that director Spike Jonze brought to the screen is very colorful and even though the effects shown were cool, Jonze didn't go overboard with them. I loved that he didn't go overboard because it allows the film to retain its realism while still being futuristic. If the future was ever like how it is shown in this film, I would hope to live in it.
                  One thing about this film that actually surprised me was how it deals with the theme of relationships and sharing your life with someone. I know the film deals with attaching to technology, but I was surprised by how it deals with relationships themselves and even the whole idea of "letting go". I also liked how the film took the whole idea of a man falling for his computer and made it believable and both Phoenix and the voice of Johansson have amazing chemistry. That brings me to my next point. I thought all the main actors do quite a fine job. Joaquin Phoenix does a complete 180 and plays a character completely different from his in his last film The Master, and is not only funny but he is also sympathetic and heartbreaking. Phoenix continues to prove why he is one of the more diverse actors working today. Amy Adams is also in this and she too is astounding as Theodore's slightly neurotic friend Amy, who is like a parallel to Theodore: someone who attaches herself to her operating system or OS to avoid the complications of being in love. Even though Rooney Mara has a few bit scenes, she still shines in those. Shows just how big of an impression Mara can leave no matter how long she's on screen. I think she just might be fighting with Jennifer Lawrence for the title of the best young actress of our generation. Olivia Wilde even has only one scene, and even in that scene, she still shines as well.

                    What I Didn't Like About It:

                   Overall, Her is a highly inventive yet plausible sci-fi spectacle. It's not only funny but it is heartbreaking and left me very moved. I would say Her is this decade's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, as both films are realistic sci-fi pics that show just how hard it is to let go of someone you love, yet offer different takes on it. Even if you haven't had your heart broken, Her will still leave you as moved as I was.

Rating: 5/5