Her Film Review (2013)

So I just finished watching Spike Jonze’s Her…

Her tells the story of Theodore, a letter writer in the near future who is going through a divorce. One day, he decides to purchase a new, artificially intelligent operating system for his computer. This OS thinks, acts, and engages like a human being does. Over time, Theo and his OS, named Samantha, fall madly in love with each other and experience all the highs and lows of normal relationships, and question the normalcy of their love along the way.

Now, I did have some reservations going into this film, because Spike Jonze did this project without the help of long time collaborator Charlie Kaufman. I was worried that Jonze was not up to the task of both writing and directing it, since a story like this requires that deft and humanistic brilliance that Kaufman brings to the table.

Well guys, I was wrong. Jonze did it all by himself, and he knocked it out of the fucking park. A beautiful meditation on the nature of love.

Brilliant script, fantastic characters and performances (Joaquin Phoenix was reserved and brilliant as Theo, and the voice of Scarlett Johansson brought so much life to Samantha; Oh, and Chris Pratt was in this movie. He did good too), great cinematography and editing, beautiful score and soundtrack (these post rock drones, classical guitar and piano, and alternative music really enhance the mood the film), great set design, etc.

Every piece of this film just compliments each other so well. The set design and cinematography create this rigid, albeit bright and vibrant, futuristic world. It is so clean and precise the way everything is built and lit and framed. The editing and the writing manage to poetically and easily convey the messages being brought forward in this movie, both through the eloquence of the words, and the corresponding images. Further, Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson have amazing chemistry, and every element of this film, from the editing, to shot composition, to soundtrack, make us feel this beautiful sense of wonder and passion.

Overall, Spike Jonze proved himself with this movie. While I may think to myself “What if Kaufman wrote this movie?”, I don’t see it anymore as an interesting hypothetical. Jonze brought forward his absolute best with this film, and he created something beautiful, philosophical, and romantic. Unabashedly recommended, and I can’t wait to see what Jonze does next, with or without Kaufman.

10 out of 10

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