Film

‘Her’

We live in the cellular age. We look at our cell phones during dinner, while watching TV and using the restroom. They accompany us to the movies, to the bar for a drink and always appear during holidays to extend greetings or document the special moments. We panic when we have forgetten them at home. We trick ourselves into feeling them vibrate in our pocket. They have become a companion in our everyday lives and we relish in our opportunities to interact with them.

There has to be a point where we take our relationships with our cellular devices to the next level.

Instead of just documenting, can we experience with our devices? Where does that lead us? Do we start making modifications to the human form? Do we sync our minds? Do we create a separate conciousness entirely?

‘Her’ takes the latter approach. The one with the most questions.

In the slight future, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a composer of handwritten notes  intended for other people, is going through a rough patch. His wife (Rooney Mara), hasn’t spoken to in months wants a divorce. His social life consists of plugging into his phone, checking his e-mails and listening to melancholy music. He is at arm’s length with the world around him, and he seems content with it.

'Her'

Then, he sees a kiosk for a new Operating System. An upgrade, a consciousness. The evolution of Siri, tailored to your profile and reactions to certain questions. After the questionaire, enters Samantha (Scarlett Johanssen), the new OS developed for Theodore. It quickly becomes clear that Samantha is evolving with her programming, taking in knowledge and developing emotional, social and analytical intelligence with every breath Theodore takes. They quickly become friends and Samantha pushes Theodore to come out of his shell, engage in conversations and even go out on a date.

The trailer for the movie gives the twist away, but it really doesn’t give you the full extent of the relationship that Theodore and Samantha develop. It really doesn’t treat their relationship as something foreign, it takes it in an honest and interesting direction.  There are rough patches, filled with doubt and struggles about the new taboos that appear with being in love with a program. Can a program love without a body? How could they experience that feeling?

‘Her’ tackles most of the questions it presents in a tangible and credible manner. Theodore grows through Samantha as she grows through the world. We see the singularity through the emotional relationship of two very real people.

Don’t miss this film.

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