Filmophile: Her


It’s a story about a man, Theodore Twombly, who falls in love with his computer.

While that, in summary, is accurate, that really is the worst way I can describe the movie.

You think it’s funny, but I don’t need to be Kurzweillian to see how true that can inevitably be. Already I live in a world where I cannot hold my friends’ attention when I speak to them face to face. I have at least 15 seconds before they whip out their iPhones and ‘Mmhmm’. I guess I should be grateful. Sometimes I don’t even get a response.

It was poetic.

We get to experience how the O.S., Samantha, develops feelings, emotions and a character that is so human-like. At one point I totally forgot she wasn’t even on -screen. It was just Theodore yet her presence was so tangible. In fact I frequently felt I was intruding on their on-screen privacy.

Through her eyes, her personality and charisma, you get to experience life as if it’s for the first time. I had a little self-reflection during certain parts where I realized I don’t get excited about life anymore. As if I’ve experienced everything already.

More than a relationship between a man and his OS, we see a progressive work of art, stemming from his vulnerability with Samantha. His life, albeit unusual, becomes new, fresh; avant-garde. I love how she makes him simply run in reckless abandon but teaches us as viewers to really be impregnated with our own body, mind and soul. Live for the moment, grow, adapt, progress. The past is just a story you tell yourself.

How odd, to learn that from a software.

I feel his ex-wife really pointed out the real reason why Theo (and many of us) allow our human nature to be eclipsed by technology. Lack of commitment. As someone shrewdly observed,

Endless content streams isolate and objectify, sanctifying impulsive wish fulfillment. Phones and computers channel our thoughts, validating our infinitesimal spheres of self-interest.

It is the self-oriented atmosphere we are slowly pressured into that will make it inescapable for us to only find acceptance with something whose commitment is validated by an On/Off switch.

The dichotomy between us and machines is just too stark.


Favourite part:

When Samantha realizes she has no pictures with Theo and proceeds to compose an instrumental piece so when they hear it, it’s like looking at a photograph of that moment. That was genius, Spike Jonze! Genius!

In that beautiful frame, I felt that our persnickety tells are minute when compared to a life without someone to share it with.

Joaquin Phoenix played perfectly a man who allowed himself to become emotionally detached from people who matter; human or android. It’s hard to hate him for the stupid things he does because he’s a hair’s breadth version of ourselves that we are capable of becoming.

Scarlett Johansson? A+

Point to ponder: The movie posed an excellent question: What if your butt was in your armpit? What would toilets look like?

Here’s an excellent review of the movie.



Why not 5?

Surrogate scene kinda freaked me out. Suddenly I was really aware of the person sitting next to me. But in all honesty that was a turning point for Theo, as you see how human he really is.

I find it a bloomin’ shame if you’ve had the chance to watch this movie and didn’t.

On a side note:

Thinking of: Ariel Winter, Pepper, el diablo and ladybugs.

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