Xplodera’s review published on Letterboxd:
“I think anybody who falls in love is a freak”
Spike Jonze’s Her functions both as a dystopian version of the future as well as an all-encompassing piece of art true of every time period. It puts forth difficult questions about the limits (or lack thereof) to artificial intelligence and how real they can actually become. On the same time however, Her also portrays the limits of love between two beings as well as the power it can encompass regardless of how “real” the persons in the relationships are.
Joaquin Phoenix’s Theodore is surrounded by people, he lives in a super-connected world with the endless web at his fingertips yet feels completely alone in the cluster of faces around him. It’s a feeling of emptiness that persists throughout the times and is regardless of the future of artificial intelligence, it’s something relatable and emotions so much more real than the futuristic hyper-designs.
In this world, everybody seems so disconnected from, well… The world itself. People are sucked up in their own bubbles with endless digital information flashing before their eyes and through their ears, so much so that they feel disconnected from their own bodies and thus end up like walking shells in this enormous world. Given this, falling in love with a computer seems like the most logical step, because it’s just as disconnected from bodily flesh and bone as the other people in this world.
It’s perhaps the perfect kind of emotional being, in Her, sex with artificial intelligence is more real than phone-sex with another bodily human being and that’s quite telling regarding how lonely one would probably end up feel in this situation. Therefore, it’s impossible to write off Theodore’s actions, since they’re in a way are the most logical conclusion in this kind of world.
Her is such a spectrum of emotions, sometimes Jonze captures them all in just the look of a face or even just a voice. It’s just as much emotions as it has ever been, but the expression of them have been disjointed in what should be an ideal future.
But perhaps the emotional relationships are unavoidable even if we’d all turn into zeroes’n’ones. Her is in a way a dystopian future, but it also shows the most human thing of all still existing, the emotional relationships. We can still grow together, but in that we also risk eventually growing apart as well, humans as well as AI and it’s all about living through that.
Surviving in the space between the words.