Spike Jonze’s 4th feature in 14 years, Her, is an original, prescient and thought-provoking blend of romance, science-fiction and social commentary. It talks of a not so distant future where the world, as it already is, is engulfed by emotional separation, incessant corporatization and rabid dependence on technology, and quite effortlessly critiqued the modern world under the garb of a heartwarming, albeit discomfiting, love story, though it did veer towards sentimentality and morality at times. Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a lonely, introverted and kindred soul whose job, at the place he’s employed with, is to write heartfelt faux-letters on behalf of others – and he’s very good at it. He’s also struggling to cope with the collapse of his marriage to his childhood sweetheart (Rooney Mara). The vacuum in his life finally starts getting filled when he embarks on a deeply intimate relationship. Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) is everything he could have hoped for – intelligent, charming, quirky and sensual; however, she’s not human, but a next-gen OS imbued with self-learning abilities. Though a seemingly bizarre proposition, he forms a profound bond with her – she helps him cope with his memories and explore newer possibilities, while he assists her in expanding her abilities to emote, respond and be human. However, the deeper he gets entangled in this unique relationship, the more difficult it potentially becomes for him accept that Samantha, at the end of the day, is not a real person. Pheonix gave a startlingly controlled and empathetic turn, while Amy Adams was also good as his only friend. The dazzling visuals and lilting score added to the film’s trance like mood.
Director: Spike Jonze