This weekend’s new DVD recommendation is the delightful HER. A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.
A very intriguing philosophical fable about what it means to be human (if a computer can mimic a human being, does that make it human?), our relationship to technology (most of Western society seems to have fallen in love with their smartphones), the nature of love (can love be true love if it is perfect and without limitations?). Joaquin Phoenix (who plays the main protagonist, Theodore) is excellent as the lonely, divorced, desperately-looking-for-love writer of letters for other people) and Scarlett Johansson (who plays the OS1 computer system with whom Theodore falls in love with) is absolutely scintillatingly sensual with just her voice alone (we never, of course, see her in the flesh because she’s a computer program construct). Amy Adams is under-utilised but does a decent job. The story is very provocative and raises all the issues I have listed above (and more). It is intriguing as the Theodore’s romance with the OS unfolds. Despite all these positive aspects, the movie could have been a little more engaging and deal with the issues a little more powerfully. But even with its flaws it it’s so modern that it’s scary to think how close we might be to these types of disembodied relationships with our mobile devices ubiquitously present 24/7. For anyone who appreciates some deep thinking this movie is made for you. I thoroughly enjoyed it.