Do you know when you watch a film and you’d like to everyone in the world to see it too? So, last week I had the chance to rewatch the film Her (2013) by Spike Jonze and I remembered why this film is on my favourites list. Her is a drama that tells the story of Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a man in the process of a divorce that falls in love with an operating system that has Scarlett Johansson’s voice.
Besides the science fiction, the film deals with the theme of loneliness in two ways, with the protagonist and through the world that surrounds him. Theodore is a lonely man who spends his days at work and at home playing video games alone. His interactions with others are superficial, and even does sex through a mobile phone chat. There is no intimacy.
The world is presented to us by people walking alone through the streets, each one with its portable operating system. The only interaction that exists is between human and some kind of technology. There is no affection and warmth between people, not far from the reality we live in today.
The performances are impeccable from the protagonists to the supporting cast. Joaquin Phoenix, who spends much of the film acting only with a voice, delivers a gentle and sensitive performance. Scarlett Johansson, who does not appear on the screen once, presents a Samantha that becomes humanised as the film goes. Certainly one of the best works of her career.
The art direction and cinematography are spectacular and my favourite parts. Unlike the usual films about loneliness that use greyish and bluish tones, Her uses very hot and low-contrast tones. The futuristic world is presented with costumes and hair predominant in earth tones that recall the 60s and 70s. This gives us a nice contrast between technology and people without identity, with the warmth of the past decades.
Spike Jonze presents us with a protagonist who, in an individualist future and without affection, can only find his happiness again in something artificial. Her is a film that is very sensible with topics such as loneliness, social interactions, technology and possessiveness, and give us a final not seen in fairy tales.