Her ★★★★½

In today’s world where majority of people’s daily lives are spent interacting with their phones & computers, a world where people are virtually in touch with everyone through internet but can’t even recall the names of their neighbours, a world where technology has seeped into the modern human relationships so much that it is making its presence felt unlike ever before through online dating, cyber chat or phone sex, and a world where people living in distant places are still able to make their long-distance relationships work including those who’ve never met each other before, a cinema like this couldn’t have arrived at a better moment.

Her tells the story of Theodore Twombly; a lonely writer who develops an intimate relationship with his newly purchased operating system that's designed to meet his every need. Now the premise looks laughable on paper but on seeing it you'll discover that Spike Jonze has crafted it with so much care that it only inspires affection. Also, it illustrates a not so distant future towards which our society is already headed & is the most accurate reflection of 21st century relationships that explores our disconnection from face-to-face conversations, the isolated lifestyle we are slowly getting accustomed to, as well as our desperate need for love & companionship in order to overcome the emptiness that abounds our lives.

Directed by Spike Jonze, this is his finest feature of his short but impressive career & here he provides a post-modern feel to the film by taking inspirations from the technologies that’s available today, betting on where its next evolutionary leap could be & exploring that breakthrough with grounded realism. The script itself is one stunning work of originality & creativity too. Production design puts up an advanced vision of a world that feels strangely familiar. Cinematography makes ingenious use of colour palettes & lighting to add more vividness to the story that ultimately contrasts with the colourless world its characters are living in. Editing gives this story a much admirable relaxed pace & the score by Arcade Fire is immensely intimate, heartwarming & soul-stirring.

Coming to the performances, Her features an incredibly talented cast in Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde & Scarlett Johansson and every actor has contributed something unique here. Phoenix gives a sweet, sincere & heartfelt rendition of Theodore; a sad, lonely & melancholic person who has lost touch with his once social self. Amy Adams has never been as adorable as she is in this film. Rooney Mara has a flashback presence mostly & Olivia Wilde was no slouch in the only sequence she appeared in. But it's Samantha (the voice behind Theodore's intuitive OS) whom I loved most & is perfectly voiced by Scarlett Johansson, who gives this A.I. voice its own heart & soul in what could be a career-best performance. Also, it's neither Samantha nor Theodore but their sizzling chemistry that makes this unusual love story work in surprising ways.

On an overall scale, Her is one of the most original, inventive & beautiful love stories to have come out in a long time and presents the most exciting & strange romance-related concept since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. As a story of love, it isn’t very far from reality for those who don’t get to spend much time with their loved ones or those who are or have been in long-distance relationships & it’s these people with whom this film will strike a more personal chord. And as a social commentary, it examines our increasing obsession with technology plus how these gadgets which were made in order to bring people more in touch with each other are having an entirely opposite effect on society & where this trend could lead us in the near future. Arguably the best film of the year & certainly the most timely romance of a generation, Spike Jonze's Her is extremely recommended.

Full review at: wp.me/s3KleJ-her

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