Review: Her (2013)

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Released in 2013 in the states and 2014 everywhere else, Her, is a film written and directed by Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovitch) starring Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line, Gladiator) and Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation, The Avengers) as the voice of Samantha. Supporting actors include: Amy Adams, Chris Pratt, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde.

What’s it About?

Set in the not-so-distant future, a lonely love letter writer, Theodore (Phoenix) downloads the latest OS software, which contains an artificial intelligence that can learn, grow and feel. His new OS, named Samantha (Johansson) becomes a central part of his life and in a short time, the two pursue a relationship that experiences love, despair and a happiness.

My Verdict

From the outset, Her sets itself up as being a visually beautiful, hauntingly emotive piece of filmmaking that will hook you from the first 5 minutes. Spike Jonze takes his audience into a world of beautiful surroundings and an impressively realistic future of what our society will probably look like in years to come.

I think probably the highlight of the movie, is the acting, The acting from all of the characters comes across as purely heartfelt, entirely gripping and what’s great about it all, is that we actually care what these people are going through. Joaquin Phoenix once again shows us his chameleon-range of acting by giving a fantastic portrayal of Theodore, but it’s safe to say that Scarlett Johansson steals the show. I wouldn’t say I’ve entirely been sold on her acting in the past, but WOW, she arguably gives the best performance of her life as the sultry-sounding Samantha, and Ms Johansson can do with her voice what most actors hope to achieve in their entire career.

The soul of this movie lies in the writing. Spike Jonze writes his dialogue with such beauty and distinction that you can’t help but admire every word of the voice-over monologues, or cry at the meaningful moments of sincerity and his words really do make you think. Even though Samantha is an operating system, you fully involve yourself into their relationship as it goes through the motions and you believe more in the power of this relationship than a ‘human + human’ one as seen in other romance movies.

Overall, Her is definitely one of the best films I have ever seen, it is a movie that will stay in your mind long after it’s finished and it’s layered with so much happiness, sadness and even laugh-out-loud humour that makes it a very distinctive movie.

A+

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