Her provides insights through an unconventional love story that isn’t too far-fetched, with problems that are not too different from normal relationships.
After a divorce, Theodore purchases an operating system upgrade that includes a virtual assistant with artificial intelligence. It’s an intuitive entity designed to adapt to the needs of its user.
Her successfully fleshed out this relationship that has recognizable hurdles. Theodore and Samantha evolved as their needs changed.
Great performances make the characters endearing and their dynamic believable. Joaquin Phoenix portrays a nuanced opposite of his role in The Master, Scarlett Johansson’s husky voice is a perfect fit for Samantha, Amy Adams keeps the story grounded, and Rooney Mara manages to make a huge impact even with just one key scene.
The film pokes fun at the ridiculousness of its own premise from time to time, from a botched ménage à trois to quips like, “We haven’t had sex lately,” Samantha laments. “And I don’t have a body.”
Unlike most sci-fi films, Her is a modestly embellished world of the present, with muted colors, dreamy afternoons, and somber evenings. This mirrors the melancholic nature of Theodore, whose technology-aided social isolation is not uncommon today. The film looks ordinary yet new, a world in a not too distant future that feels familiar.
The film trips on the ending, where it becomes a tad too self-conscious and bails out with a contrived twist. The love story ends up in familiar rom-com territory. But this is a minute flaw in an original and timely story.
Her is both an endearing love story and an effective satire of our technology-driven connections. The ending is ambiguous but if you consider the parallels, it makes thought-provoking questions.
In the digital age where social media platforms enable us to live idealized lives behind perfectly curated pictures and make instant connections without the challenges of real relationships, will we still be able to make lasting connections with human beings in the physical world? or are we going to be contented in our own virtual universe?
The film still reminds us that love is not obsolete, even in a time where technology can substitute humans with an idealized sidekick.
Her is a funny, soulful, and thought-provoking satire of modern tech-driven relationships.