Her (2013)

Technology has invaded our space in an alarming way. It is supposed to make life easier, which it does, but also complicates it. I myself am guilty of being more in touch with my cell phone than with the company that surrounds me, so this subject is a warning of the times to come.

This film explores a society in the future where we have advanced technology to communicate, but have lost the art of communication. With all the tools at our disposal, we have forgotten how to reach and touch other people’s minds and hearts. People are lonely, relationships are fragile and we are swept in our own storm, where we have created a monster too powerful to tame.

Joaquin Phoenix writes beautiful letters for OTHER people as a living, because emotions have become a service one can pay for. A new operating system is on offer, which he buys. It calls itself ‘Samantha’, drawing on the memories and experiences of all people who have programmed it, but designed to become an ever evolving entity by itself. The voice is by Scarlett Johansson who never once makes you feel she is just a voice. She is present, in every way a person with a form would be.

How their relationship evolves, how complex the human mind and interaction becomes, what is the fate of Technology vs. Emotions, is explored in the most novel way, touching unique points of discussion never explored on screen. This is heavy duty writing, thought provoking and pushing the envelope of how helpless our society can become if not ‘humanised’.

Joaquin is our window into this world. He guides us effortlessly in the rising and falling waves of emotion experienced by him and the people he interacts with. Amy Adams is his friend who is on a similar journey and later becomes a mouth piece for his suppressed thoughts and feelings. The most warped and powerful scene involved a ‘surrogate’, something you will understand when you watch ‘her’.

Now the question is, why isn’t Scarlett Johannson nominated for any of the awards? Is it just because she was a formless voice? That would be true acknowledgement for her work which created such an impact.



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