Sunday, January 19, 2014

her [USA, 2013]

Nine Things About the Movie her

1. This movie is a complex, poetic work of genius. And I NEVER use the word 'genius'.

2. WARNING: This is not really a love story. At least, not in the way you think. Made by Spike Jonze (who also did “Being John Malkovich” and “Where the Wild Things Are”) it’s a science fiction philosophical romantic character drama fable with a transhumanist twist. It’s funny and sad and happy and melancholy.

3. It’s about an introverted, heartbroken man named Theodore who works for a website that writes personal letters for other people. Theodore buys a new artificial intelligence operating system for his computer. Then he falls in love with it.

4. The operating system evolves and grows and starts to fall in love with Theodore, too. Well, sort of.

5. This is a movie about ideas much more than actions. Characters in the movie aren’t really characters, but perspectives on topics. Long stretches of the movie consist of nothing more than Theodore talking to his computer.

6. People that are not engaging with the ideas in this movie, or who can’t connect with its pacing, will find this movie really slow and boring.

7. The movie openly acknowledges the contradictions of advanced technology and human relationships. Jonze shows us a world where technology has freed us to connect with other people, no matter what our private fetishes are – even at the expense of isolating ourselves from most other people. By embracing these contradictions and refusing to take a stand, the movie offers a new definition of connection and intimacy.

8. Always a visual poet, Jonze uses many nonverbal cues to shine a light into the characters' interior lives.

9. There are so many ideas and concepts that overlap and interconnect with each other throughout the movie that it will require multiple viewings to let them all sink in.