In not so distant future, where IT and quirky fashion mode have advanced, Her introduces us to Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) or simply Theo. He’s complicated–working in a company that hires people to write personal letters for others, being unhappy because of his prolonged divorce from the love of his life, Catherine (Rooney Mara), and seeking real-life connection from whatever means.
Through his desperation, Theo installs a new OS with artificial intelligence that behaves like human being. He wants his new OS a female–that finally names herself “Samantha” (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Acting as Theo’s assistance, Samantha begins to grow more intimately with Theo–vice versa. Then, both of them end up becoming lovers.
The director Spike Jonze makes the story of Her feels like reviving fairytale–telling about humans fall in love with their own creation; only, Her is more sympathetic. Building the base on Theo’s attempt to recover from his break-up, Her probes his filthiest points as he easily ends up on Samantha. Dating an OS is irrational, yet, Theo lives with it–lives with every conversation he has with Samantha. Warm and intimate, his interaction with an OS surpasses his interaction with real woman depicted in his artificial, unnatural date with Olivia Wilde’s character. In different manner, his interaction with his fellow broken-hearted mate Amy (Amy Adams, whom I almost ain’t recognize) feels so symphatetic. From there, I can tell that Theo’s life is completely grievous.
I do not take this movie too personal, but Phoenix’s portrayal of Theo is heart-throbbing-ly fabulous. His serenity is difficult to interpret–whether he really enjoys things or he resents them, I never know. Meanwhile, Johansson’s voice-acting is also tremendous. Her on-screen presence is alpha; yet, we can feel her there–cuddling, caressing, and fondling Theo to some extent–making Theo looks more fragile. Well, Amy Adams’ portrayal of Amy is just too real–very different from his American Hustle or even Man of Steel. And… voice cameo by director Spike Jonze through a cute character on-screen is unforgettable.
The Director of photography Hoyte van Hoytema along with editors Jeff Buchanan and Eric Zumbrunnen make things more futuristic but… less cool–defining Jonze’s golden globe-winning screenplay a little more enhancing. More than just a techno-romance (or techno-phobic?) drama, Her is the future which pictures the future eerily beautiful (including filming in China, unmix-matching apparels, and melodies–wtf!).
Her dramatizes the life of a fragile man so desperately that it might hurt somehow. However, this techno-rom-com gives people a talkie lecture on how people should interact–artificially or intimately. Along with soothing and beyond-boundary scoring from Arcade Fire, Her is more than just enjoyable.