Spike Jonzes’s latest offering Her is probably the writer and director’s most mature work to date (although there is some childish profanity and sexual humor). There has been a lot of talk about this being his most ambitious work to date. In the sense that he is handling both writing and directing duties, I would agree with this assessment. However, it must be said: from a purely directorial standpoint, I would argue Adaptation was the more ambitious work.
Still, there is much to be said for the ambition of Her. In one scene, Jonze boldly allows the screen to go blank for quite a long time, something I had previously never witnessed in a movie. Of course, the blank screen helped aid in character development. Jonze also perfectly captures how an individual’s sense of loneliness is often exacerbated by memories, in this case visually beautiful memories.
I don’t want to waste a lot of time going over plot: Theo, a writer, falls in love with a more advanced computer operating system earpiece that can communicate with humans.
I really enjoyed the idea of Theo being essentially a personalized greeting card writer. In some instances, he writes a note of congratulations to a graduate-to-be, while in other cases he writes a love letter. His finished products are longer, more detailed, and better written than your standard Hallmark card.
One line that remained lodged in my mind was when Theo uttered: “I’m not going to feel anything new; just lesser versions of what I’ve already felt.”
It’s a fear for Theo: his marriage failed and he’s afraid everything that follows will pale by comparison. In fact, many couples still in marriage face a similar problem: how to keep things fresh and avoiding the same routine. I’ve never been married and all of my long-term relationships didn’t pan out, so the one thing I know is: I don’t know the answer. The movie doesn’t offer any answers, perhaps wisely so. That’s beside the point; the point is it gets the viewer to consider such matters. The writing is solid; the awards the screenplay has garnered are well-deserved.
Her is recommended as it makes a viewer consider the nature of love and of loneliness. Theo falls in love with an operating system in part because he is a lonely person. The movie makes the viewer questions the importance of human intimacy and also question both the pros and the cons of technology. In the closing scene, Jonze’s feelings on the matter become clear, if they weren’t already clear. The premise, while sounding a bit far-fetched on paper, plays out relatively convincingly.