Saturday, 1 March 2014

Her (2013)


Samantha: The past is just a story we tell ourselves.

This is probably my last pre-Oscars 2014 Ceremony but what a film did I choose to close with. On the one hand, I'm actually very glad that I happen to end this run with this film (not meaning there's not going to be any more reviews coming after the Academy Awards Ceremony), but on the other hand I have to admit that I oughtta feel a wee bit ashamed I wasn't able to screen this film sooner. 

As you might have already guessed, I'm quite in awe of this film and the themes it presents. 'Her' speaks about Theodore: a lonely man in the final stages of his divorce. When he's not working as a letter writer, his down time is spent playing video games and occasionally hanging out with friends. He decides to purchase the new OS1, which is advertised as the world's first artificially intelligent operating system, "It's not just an operating system, it's a consciousness," the ad states. Theodore quickly finds himself drawn in with Samantha, the voice behind his OS1. As they start spending time together they grow closer and closer and eventually find themselves in love. Having fallen in love with his OS, Theodore finds himself dealing with feelings of both great joy and doubt. As an OS, Samantha has powerful intelligence that she uses to help Theodore in ways others hadn't, but how does she help him deal with his inner conflict of being in love with an OS? 

Spike Jonze (Where the Wild Things Are, Being John Malcovich, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa) has chosen to present us a film which shows exactly how are society is evovling nowadays. The rapid evolution of technology is soon taking part of our every day lives in more ways than one could have thought of 100 years ago. The sentimentality, the humanity and the vulnerabilyt of the human psyche and the forces of the heart are purely a few of the themes explored in this social drama. Jonze is a filmmaker with a lot of soul, who wasn't afraid to write and direct a film that shows real human alienation, impossible affection and true love; albeit not the conventional kind that society has formed it to be, but definitely something totally fresh and advanced for the times which we are living in. 

Brilliantly so, one of the most underrated actors of his generation and currently in Hollywood, Joaquin Phoenix (The Master, Walk The Line, Gladiator, Hotel Rwanda), embodies this lonely individual who give so much growth and emotion to his character. The on-screen chemistry with an invisible OS voice (voiced by the alluring yet calming voice of Scarlett Johansson) is just one of the most unique and complex on-screen performances I have seen in a long while. The depth and the absurdistic scenario of this unconventional relationship seems to be endearing and at the same time raising key fundamental questions regarding the evolution of modern society; alienation, loneliness, lack of human interaction. 

This is such a bittersweet tale that will transcend into filmmaking history for its warmth and raw truth of the human psyche. Quite notably so it's up for an Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Original Song. Let us hope that the Academy will do it justice and put it in the pedastal it deserves, alongside with the other heavy-weight for this year, '12 Years A Slave'. 

So, screen this film with an open mind and most importantly an open heart. See you after the Oscars everyone. 

Hope you enjoyed this year's Road to Oscars. 


Her (2013)

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