Her (Spike Jonze, 2014)

What's it about? In a futuristic-but-not-that-futuristic society, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is a lonely man who falls in love with his computer's new operating system, an Artificial Intelligence with the sultry voice of Scarlett Johansson.


Is it any good? A film to make you think. Story-wise, it's straightforward; boy meets girl, they fall in love, problems inevitably arise. But in making the girl an AI, the film provides all sorts of commentary on the world we live in today, where people communicate all the time via computer with people they have never physically met. Twombly is representative of an increasing number of people who find the virtual world more appealing that the physical one, people who can express themselves freely online, but repress their emotions in reality - Twombly's appearance even resembles a Groucho Marx 'mask'. The irony of his situation is that this reticent man himself works as a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac, penning love letters for people to express their feelings for each other, a service that exists because so many cannot articulate this face-to-face. On top of this, it tackles ideas of online dating and sex, the nature of love and what it means to be 'human' in a bitter-sweet, melancholy fashion. It's a movie about modern technology, but it's also about age-old emotions, and how the two things intertwine. So there's plenty going on here to raise it above the slight story, which will likely make you contemplate your own relationship with the online world. Do you know when to switch off and talk to 'real' people? Or are you forever in electric dreams?

Anything else I should know? A good article here, which explains the thinking behind the futuristic elements of the film, from the clothes, to the games, to the reasoning behind removing blue from the colour palette. Interesting stuff, and not all that far removed from our real future, I suspect. Also, here's a quick blast of 80s nostalgia, just because.



What does the Fonz think? The Fonz is away on holiday and it seemed too obvious to ask Siri to stand in, since loads of people have done that, so instead we have another guest reviewer.

What does HAL9000 think? I'm sorry, Declan. I'm afraid I can't tell you that.









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