Friday, 28 February 2014

Her: A review

Spike Jonze's new film, Her, is about a man (played by Joaquin Pheonix) who falls in love with an artificially intelligent operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). It's a beautiful film, genuinely romantic, and probably all the better for not getting too caught up in the sci-fi element of the story. This is a film about relationships and feelings, and the technology involved is just a step or two beyond our own, but much more the tool of the story rather than the point of it.

Pheonix's performance is brilliant. He has to carry so much of the film just with his facial expressions, bringing to life what Johansson is saying through his reactions. Her vocal performance is similarly great, she gives presence to a disembodied character and engages you in the story of her development.

I wish I could encapsulate the feeling of beauty, heartbreak and sheer wonder that Her manages to convey, because that would be the best way I could recommend it to you. As an attempt, I've written this haiku:

She has no body,
And so she is evolving
Beyond mere beauty.

There are no explosions, no car chases, and a complete lack of Lego figures (shame) but this film really touched my heart. Take hankies and allow time for a cup of tea or two after viewing.


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