by sfe medusa
This film is one of the rare recents which have truly blown me away. Spike Jonze fantastically demonstrates the modern technological circumstance whilst simultaneously poking fun at the blossoming adults of today: decked out in their outfits of pastel and neutral shades, strictly shopping organic and possessing that infuriating, self-conscious artistic expression. Amy Adams and Matt Letscher’s relationship is a particularly interesting embellishment of the main plot, supplying a substantial amount of both comedy and grief throughout.
As the film progressed I started to strongly dislike Joaquin Phoenix’s character: a wallowing, self-absorbed daydreamer, an overgrown toddler incapable of loving anything other than an operating system specifically designed to meet his every need.. in other words, serve him.
Yet after some thought, I clocked that this is one of the most accurate and relatable depictions of human nature, surprisingly scarce in films, perhaps out of our own narcissism (note I refer to human rather than man – us gals are equally guilty of such egotism). Phoenix embodies our state of self-awareness and thought that characterises our evolution beyond any other creature. I think therefore I am and all that.. Although on the surface Her is a love story, the concept of existence is much more at the heart of the film.
To my glee, the nature of being is also brought into the mix with the passing mention of Alan Watts, no doubt (well, I refuse to believe otherwise) an intentional reference to the late spiritual philosopher who, in his time, always advocated existential exploration of the self.
Albeit a portrait of isolation, Her oddly connects with the viewer. The only explanation for this I can give is Jonze’s capturing of the very crux of the human condition. Compulsory viewing for anyone who wants to take a good hard look at themselves, and consequently everyone around them.