Thursday, January 9, 2014

She May Be The Voice I Can't Forget (Movie Review: Her)

There's this famous Albert Einstein quote: "I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots. " There are times when I ask, have we gotten to that time yet?  I think of those times when I am at a restaurant with friends and everyone is scrolling Facebook on their cell phones, and I think that maybe Einstein is right.  In "Her," Spike Jonez imagines a world in a not-too-distant future where there are operating systems who are so intuitive that they not only does scientific approximations but they also calculate "feelings" based on data that they accumulate and collate.  Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore, a sensitive romantic who is in a perpetual state of melancholy after separating from his wife.  He adapts a new operating system for, and voila, gets companionship - and more - from "Samantha." He spends a lot of time with her, and shares his innermost feelings and longings with her. Is it really a far-fetched idea that they fall in love with each other? At first the idea is understandably ludicrous, but Phoenix is magnificent, displaying raw naked vulnerability that you not only believe him, you identify with them . (And though I have never really been a fan of Scarlett Johansson, she is perfect here: her husky, throaty sexy voice fits Samantha to a T) How many times in our lifetimes do we sometimes love the wrong people? That we jump in something we know is pointless, or wrong, or is a dead end, but we still do it. Because it feels good to "feel." Amy Adams, who plays Theodore's best friend in the movie, has a brilliant quote: "“We’re only here briefly. And while we’re here, I want to allow myself — joy.” And sometimes we just need to accept what gives us joy. 

I saw this movie last night and literally couldn't sleep, thinking about it. In this  age of modern technology, does it sometimes feel like we connect with more people in a different way than we do in the "real" sense. How many Facebook friends do we know more than our actual friends ? Or is it just a different level of friendship? Maybe someday in the near future, the generation will go back to being more connected with their emotions, and will use technology to achieve that. The human existence will certainly still and always be there, right?  All I know is that love - in all forms, kinds, and permutation - will never disappear. 

I think that's why this movie touched me in a different way. I always say that the movies I love are the ones that make me feel, versus those that make me "see." I favor a good cry over a great special effect. This movie will hit you directly at the core of your heart. It's my most favorite of 2013.

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