From the mind of Spike Jonze. Her is one of the finest examples of dramatic filmmaking that truly captures you. Even though it is set in the future, you are completely captivated by the way it places you in the present. It’s one of those rare examples that you can call a film 10/10 and have it be deserving of that ranking.
In Her, we examine the world of Theodore Twomly (Joaquin Phoenix), who is a gift card writer searching for his own personal emotional connection to someone. After failing to do so with humans, a new form of technology allows him the chance to do so with his operating software. We explore the makings of this relationship and by doing so, become swiftly swept up in the world Spike Jonze creates.
What makes Her so fantastic is that this is a world created by Spike Jonze, it feels like one that is just waiting to happen. Everything that you see from the grand visuals of architecture to the subtle digital details, feels wholeheartedly real. It becomes so believable, that you can’t help but know that this is the future our world will look like in thirty years time. And this is what makes up just one part of the spectacular writing and direction.
From the introduction of the operating software, you hurdle over the awkwardness of interacting with something artificial on a personal level. Just like Joaquin Phoenix’s character does, you also progress together on the same wavelength to the acceptance of a human and artificial intelligence relationship. It’s this connection that not only extends between Joaquin Phoenix and his new software that makes all the difference, but the one made with the audience which sets this film out from the rest, making it an incredibly emotional and captivating experience to take away.
You feel Joaquin Phoenix’s character every step of the way and in some ways, you are almost an extension of their relationship. This isn’t done in jus some terrible third wheeling sense of the way, but rather you begin to connect with the emotional plights Phoenix experiences and these feelings are then quickly transferred to you.
It’s stupendously rare for any film to do this at the consistency that Her does. Most will have you feeling those same emotional connections at certain points of the film, most often only towards the end. But Her grabs you in from the start of this connection and holds you to it for the entire time until the credits roll. In doing so, you feel wistfully wrenched away again, as the illusion of what just transpired falters beneath and you return to reality.
For this reason, I haven’t wanted to re-watch Her since I last saw it. In many ways, it’s a film that made me feel the first love but mutually had to break it up with me. And this isn’t from some silly fight, but from an understandable decision that I knew was always going to happen no matter what I did. It feels like I’m talking about a relationship in this sense and therefore Her is so special. By making you feel emotions in so many ways (just like a relationship), it connects to who you are as a person. It brings you in to tell you that is indeed loved. Just like you will have the love for this film as much as I did.