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| 11 January 2014

Directed by Spike Jonze
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Her movie poster

Joaquin Phoenix is utterly compelling and believable as Theodore, a hurt and distant man in our increasingly dystopically virtual near future. Going through a divorce, he installs a new, artificial intelligence, operating system OS1 – who names herself Samantha – on his devices, and promptly falls in love with her, voiced intelligently and with amazing nuance by Scarlett Johansson, who manages to be gorgeous even as a computerised voice.

Theodore and Samantha’s courtship and even their intimate relationship is played completely straight, and is tender and sweet, though an altercation with his ex gets Theodore thinking about the impracticalities of the relationship.

When Samantha insists that they use a “surrogate” human for sex, their dissociative problems reach their zenith, and the cracks start to show as the hyper-intelligent computer program needs more stimulation than a mere human can provide, multi tasking with thousands of other simultaneous conversations and even love affairs.

As a peek into an even more dysfunctional future where we exponentially bury ourselves and our emotions into a virtual world, under the surface Her is a scary horror story about life without real, physical love or contact.

The movie explores themes of jealousy and intimacy, even betrayal, and also our relationship and adaptability with virtual technology. Most intriguingly, it also delves into what future technology may think of us.

Even in the void of love – present, virtual AND lost – humans grow and evolve, and Her is a discussion-starting look at what might happen if our technology did the same, and out-grew us in record time.


Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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