Sunday, June 22, 2014

Her ★★1/2

    One of the most universally accepted sentiments of humanity in the twenty-first century has to be the notion that technology is a profound instrument that has become an indispensable aspect of our lives. This progression has spanned over a centuries time, and it is rather inconceivable to believe that one could live without such technological advances, even if they tried.

    "Her" is a film that delves into the near future to explore the intricacies of the bond between man and technology. It is a viable conception that man will become so fixated with these advanced devices, that seemingly aid us in our everyday tasks, to the point where the emotion of love becomes discernible. Although this film revels in the delight of this romanticized, futuristic love story, it is far from producing a picture that can yield a palpable atmosphere to elucidate its intentions.

    Theodore Twombly is a reserved and peculiar individual who spends his days as a professional writer creating intimate letters and cards for significant others, not of his own. This only adds to his depression and reluctance to become involved with his surrounding environment, as Theodore is in the final stages of an unwanted divorce. The culmination of life's hardships leads Theodore to purchase an OS1, a highly intelligent operating system, which will assist him in his daily activities and give him a direly needed social outlet to ease the suffocation of loneliness.

    He effortlessly decides to give the system a female voice and disposition, which lends the opportunity for romantically inclined attachment. Theodore and Samantha, the name chosen personally by the OS, bond almost immediately, and they indulge in conversations about life, love, and happiness. Samantha shows continual evolution throughout the beginning of the relationship and even claims she can feel Theodore's touch during a late night encounter. Love has blossomed.

    The role of Theodore is extremely difficult in theory. There is virtually no physical interaction with the other leading role, and the majority of the dialogue is limited to conversations in time and space. Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of Theodore is a stimulating experience that ultimately becomes bogged down by the ramifications of the forefront relationship. (Imagine viewing conversations between two individuals in a long distance partnership.) Nevertheless, Phoenix eases the discomfort with his delicate approach to the character. Theodore's soft toned personality intrigues us even if his character lacks the appeal of most lead performances.

    Scarlett Johansson provides us with the sultry and intelligent voice of Samanta. This is another role that justifies a certain level of professionalism to ensure that the portrayal adds substance to the film. We never physically view Samantha as she is not a human being, but a program within the confines of a computer. This is a burdensome role to critique, as Johansson is seemingly just a voice that communicates with the lead character through an earpiece.

    What I can comment on, however, is the chemistry that is provided by Johansson. Her dialogue flows naturally, and her voice charms in a way that cannot quite be defined. She breathes life into this program, and she undoubtedly becomes the star of the show. Additionally, Samantha is entirely genuine, which helps us to believe in this unlikely association.

    With their new found love in tow, Theodore and Samantha become inseparable. They spend time at the beach and even go out on a double date, as dating an OS has grown to be socially acceptable. However, the issue of physical intimacy remains and the fact that Samantha is evolving into something more than just an operating system lingers. This relationship will test the integrity of Theodore and the perceived thought that love can survive between man and an intangible entity.

    Love is indeed a mysterious force; it is both powerful and haunting. It can consume oneself at the most opportune time and flourish when the connection is sincere. Although this unusual love story provides an interesting perspective into how nature in itself functions, the fascination subsides as Samantha grows. She simply becomes a more interesting character that is restricted to the length of Theodore.

    The tone of the film also loses its continuity with stints of unnecessary and rather vapid dialogue. Samantha can communicate with thousands of other beings and can learn an infinite amount of knowledge within a minuscule time period. With the boundless mysteries and unknown answers to life's existence at hand, it is extremely unlikely that she would lend herself to ignorant thoughts as to why our anuses are located where they are and not in a place such as our armpits. Unfortunately, we not only have to endure this benighted conversation but must observe a graphic depiction as well.

    There once was a fear that technology would separate man from his family and community. A fear that we would become less concerned with these values and transform into introverted human beings, who only preoccupy themselves within the boundaries of the World Wide Web. Although this notion has arguably come true to this point, it is an entirely different discussion when the attachment progresses to emotions of the sensual matter. "Her" is the personification of this theory that would see humanity become nothing more than an extension of his own creation. When the love for material objects has gotten to this pinnacle, it is no longer an obsession, but a sickness.

1 comment:

  1. I could not see the concept portrayed in this movie so I didn't even bother going to see it. I would be a sickness to fall in love with the voice in your head...I mean phone.