For a film concerned with the nature of artificial intelligence, Her is decidedly human. Even it’s title in which the titular AI is granted gender rather than simply being “it” is indicative of the film’s attention to the human condition.
Director Spike Jonze works for the first time with a script of his own writing, showing off the artistic leaps and bounds he has made since his time as Jackass producer and director of multiple music videos for luminaries ranging from Björk to the Beastie Boys. This a film of exquisite depth and matchless maturity.
His script is sublime and tells the story of wonderfully named Theodore Twombly, a melancholic and luxuriantly moustachioed man working for a company that writes love letters for couples without as romantic and poetic a brain as Theodore’s. We meet him at the tail end of his marriage, a romance stemming from childhood, soured by the constant evolution of human relationships and the sometimes inevitable growing apart of two minds.
Theodore and his morose Mrs. grow apart, leaving Theodore moping about his house, lamenting his work and confused about his future. Jonze builds wondrous dreamscapes, using flashback sequences so viscerally that they become more than just flashbacks, they become memories.
All parties are on the top of their game, the cinematography is beautiful, the script flawless, the story fresh and exciting, the direction effortless and the acting naturalistic and arresting. Scarlett Johansson’s easy charm lends believability to the whole scenario.
It’s one of the most interesting films of the year, a Sci-Fi that is human and compelling rather than cold and jargon heavy as is the genres wont. Imagine an episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror as if helmed by Woodie Allen perhaps.
– Oliver Drew