Saturday, January 18, 2014

"Her" (2013) - Movie Review

“Her” begins as a revolutionary new concept and it steers itself towards the eventual loss and pain. It does that with not alone pleasant cinematography rather an enriching experience which acts as film’s soothing subconscious. Then turns it around and evolves itself as its brilliant Artificial Intelligence OS 1. The relationship between the sweet and lonely man Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) with his Operating System with Artificial Intelligence Samantha (voice of Scarlett Johansson) is doomed from the moment it germinates or is the logical gloom in me brings that?

Spike Jonze’s film is pure creativity and swims through planes of foundational human emotions. Beyond the superficiality and the connected world, having to love and being loved never have undergone groundbreaking metamorphosis over centuries. The forms have been different but in its grassroots, it has existed like the fossil remains it has left. The psychoanalysis of it have though has developed exponentially. The attempt to understand the irrationality in an emotion has resulted only in an aura of confusion. How about that for contradiction and oxymoron? Such is that this thing called love that we are mesmerized, behave as an adorable juvenile and overwhelmed by that hair rising stints of emotions. The idea that someone finds us desirable, attractive and as a person with a personality but incomparable to those traits is that one is capable of being loved. Spike Jonze encapsulates that idea and makes it an experience without the physicality. It is a long distance relationship that has no future of ever encountering the reality. Will be still be content with that idea of love? Does it suffice to feel that idea alone without the touch, hug and more than that?

Theodore works as a write in an LA company. He writes personal letters to people who cannot express themselves, basically a personal Hallmark. The opening shot of the film is him dictating his computer that writes a letter for a woman wishing her husband 50 year anniversary. The film begins with an irony of how someone who has been with 50 years of time with love of her life still need a proper annunciator.

Theodore is going through divorce and has cornered into a ball of deep sorrow. His friends and building mates Amy (Amy Adams) and Charles (Matt Letscher) are trying to find a new beginning for him. As he walks around moping drenched and soaked in his sorrow, he sees the ad for OS 1 which reminds on the reality of the virtual world that is clouding the soul of this planet. It installs and comes as the sexiest voice of Scarlett Johansson. Calls herself Samantha and connects instantaneously with Theodore. While Theodore is blown away by this technology, he has also embedded as every others in the society with an earpiece and guided mechanical voice. A voice with emotional gravity still throws him off but quickly that sinks and the habitualness nature of the modern human takes over impulsively.

I could not erase the face of Scarlett Johansson when I was hearing Samantha. I wish Jonze had used someone whom we did not know to truly see this new AI conscious being. Yet he succeeds in making the personality Theodore begins to fall for with the ease that confuses ourselves in the way we feel about her. She is witty, funny, a spectacular listener and of course super intelligent to organize Theodore’s mailboxes and files. Samantha sees the world through Theodore and Theodore is excited to show someone this world that is so novel and exciting to that person. She understands the theory of this life beyond any human in this planet but to see it and absorb it as an evolving conscious being as a baby is truly overwhelming. With such a high intelligence, the data is easy to process but to process what she begins to feel is “Her”.

Spike Jonze’s film is a statement, a discussion, a profound self aware analysis of human mind but most of all truly digs in to the soul of the human being. Joaquin Phoenix carries this film appearing almost on every frame and makes Theodore not a regular stereotypical introvert. He is sweet, nice and emotionally vulnerable but never fears to explore that vulnerability. He goes with the flow despite the logical demise of this relationship. Every moment we begin to think where his character is going to go, he sometimes does and sometimes does not but definitely makes it organic than a manipulative device most films handle these characters.

The beautiful thing about “Her” is how like its characters, it stumbles, learns, goes through familiar routes and takes unknown paths with a balance. It shows to say that despite these animal instincts and spontaneous emotional outbursts that leads to loss and hurt, the thriving need to attain that state of mind of love both alone and with another human being makes the film a living being. It reaches out the screen with flesh and blood. It caresses and takes our hand and makes us to feel its heart pumping absolute emotions with colourful creative presentation.

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