her – A Spike Jonze Love Story
“It’s like I’m reading a book, and it’s a book I deeply love. But I’m reading it slowly now, so the words are really far apart and the spaces between the words are almost infinity. I can still feel you, and the words of our story, but it’s in this endless space between the words that I’m finding myself now. it’s a place that’s not of the physical world. It’s where everything else is that I didn’t even know existed. I love you so much. But this is where I am now, and this is who I am now, and I need you to let me go. As much as I want to, I can’t live in your book anymore.”
We recently revisited ‘her’, the Spike Jonze written, produced and directed movie from 2013. One of our favourite films of the last five years, it reveals a stark insight into what the near future will feel like. Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely writer, invests in a state-of-the-art AI operating system (Scarlett Johansson). They fall in love, but not before long, he learns of the many flaws of a human-OS relationship…
…then SHE leaves.
The film concludes with Theodore sat on a rooftop with his best pal (Amy Adams); it could be sad but it isn’t, Theodore’s realisation that he is capable of finding happiness without his OS is a beautiful one (as the people stroll the streets below glued to their devices).
With it comes a sense of hope that although advancing technologies continue to invade and immerse every aspect of both his (and our) lives, we can still find our way without them.
A change from your usual dystopian, crisis-inducing films about the future, ‘her’ provokes a true sense of warmth as we battle Theodore’s emotional and internal (and ethical) struggles with him.
This ‘warmth’ is turned up to ten in the artistic makeup of the entire movie.
Filmed predominantly in Shanghai and LA, the impressive blurring of the two VAST cities creates an entirely new terrain. The prominent colour scheme and art direction contribute hugely; the sheer warmth of the grade, the rich sun-kissed days, hazy pastel flashbacks, electrifying neon nighttime cityscapes and plush, minimalist interiors balance to create something almost otherworldly.