Spike Jonze’s return to the big screen was nothing less than spectacular. The story takes place in what seems to be the near future where people’s computers are able to talk to them through the use of an earpiece. Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a lonely man who works for a company that specializes in writing letters for couples. After splitting up with his wife Catherine (Rooney Mara), Theodore becomes terribly withdrawn from other people. The only thing that Theodore seems to have in his life is his Operating System, which he decides to upgrade after seeing an ad on the street. This is when he meets Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the voice of his new OS, a computer with the ability to learn and think. After spending some time with Samantha, through the use of a headpiece and handset, he slowly begins falling in love with her. This is where the story really begins.
One thing that really made this movie shine had to be Joaquin Phoenix’s performance. He barely shares the screen with any other character and although he talks to Samantha, the camera is usually resting on Joaquin’s face and reactions to what he is listening to. On the other side of that argument, Johansson also did a great job with her voice acting. Her part as Samantha really did seem natural and made everyone watching it care about her character. The dialogue between Samantha and Theodore seemed extremely effortless and will make you forget that the budding romance is between a computer and a human. Of course this also had to do with how Spike Jonze wrote out everyone’s lines.
On top of the characters is the fact that there is a lot of depth within the story. Her raised several questions about relationships, artificial intelligence, and humanity itself. Despite how strange the premise is, you can’t help but sympathize or even relate to Theodore’s situation in life. But then again, is it really so farfetched to think that someone would fall in love with a computer when there’s people today that get married to non-living and even non-thinking objects? The movie really pushes some interesting thoughts and is a refreshing take on the romance genre of movies.
Also worth a mention is the fact that Arcade Fire composed most, if not all, of the music in the film. The tracks that are being played are spot on to each scene and serve as an interesting gateway to lead into some montages of the characters. Music plays a small and significant role in this movie and Arcade Fire really hit the nail on the head with each and every one of their tracks. The fact that the music worked so in sync with the movie is a testament to how well composed each track is.
Easily one of the best movies to have been released in the last 5 years, Spike Jonze triumphs once again. Her has the charm that every movie should have and will make you feel a range of emotions from humor to sadness. The acting is fantastic and the story itself has a lot of heart. Although it is categorized as a movie about romance, I think it’s more than that. Jonze is instead showing us his own interpretation of our age of technology and how deeply this tech has been integrated into each of our lives. This being said, there were also a few things about the plot itself that bothered me but regardless of this, Her will remain a must watch movie for years to come.
TL;DR: An amazing movie by Spike Jonze with a lot of heart. Oscar nominations are undeniable to this movie.
Rockit Raccoon Rating: 9.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%