Sunday, January 24, 2016

Her (2013) Review:

The human condition has been a topic of study for ages. Nobody truly understands what goes on upstairs in the cavities of our mind and how it works. There have been professionals that say they understand the process of which all come to one intersection point, but the whole entire truth to how the human brain works is so vastly unique from anything in the world, that we still have not entirely figured it out. This is why mankind has not been able to completely make artificial intelligence  REAL intelligence. We are getting closer that's for sure, but this fulfillment still has not been achieved yet. Once that day is realized, the world will have a very controversial topic to talk about it. Until then, let's imagine if this was already integrated into our lives and we had no issues with it. What would happen if that newly created intelligence became something more, an entity larger than anyone could think of and how would it affect us personally? This is one of the many questions director Spike Jonze hopes to show us.

Joaquin Phoenix
Also taking on the role as writer, Jonze’s screenplay focuses on the relationship of a divorced man Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) and his newly acquired operating system (OS for short) named Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). Being that Jonze only has two other theatrical director credits (Being John Malkovich (1999) & Adaptation. (2002)), it's great to see after such a long time he can produce strongly admired work. This trend is parallel to that of director Ben Lewin of The Sessions (2012). There is almost nothing that can be said that doesn't work in this production. The script to this film is beyond great. The themes that it covers dives deep into the psyche that is the human condition and what we must endure as a species with this complex processor in our head called a brain. It also demonstrates life lessons that occasionally (or frequently) we forget about as we live our lives on a consistently scheduled basis. One of the biggest examples is just the joy of living, no matter what that consists of.

In life, everyone experiences emotion. Negative and positive emotions. Whether this is love, jealousy, confusion, frustration, euphoria, etc...these are all moments in time in which we as an individual are given a chance to grow and learn. These kinds of events are what Theodore and Samantha go through together. Jonze's script also covers what happens when one gets too attached and how that affects one's judgement in a specific moment in time. This kind of development is also given to the supporting characters played by Amy Adams and Chris Pratt. All characters end up giving each other some kind of advice that is much deeper after living through some kind of struggle. These are all very important scenes because they help not only the characters understand each other better, but it also indirectly teaches and motivates the viewers of this phenomenal movie. Rarely do viewers come across a film that looks to assist them in life.

Of this, it is important to just move with life. Jonze's script has a moral and that is time and life is forever changing. Nobody can stop change and if it's refused, the change will be harder to handle. Things may seem weird at times and almost like they shouldn't be happening, but as humans, we must figure out what we want. Once we know what we want, we must believe that we will get what we want and then feel as though what we want is already there. This is practically the same lesson that author Rhonda Byrne of The Secret is trying get across. Live life to the fullest and do not measure yourself based on your past. Learn from it and move on, this is all that can be done. Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson have amazing chemistry together and are quite amiable. Although Johansson is not on screen once, the scenes they both share together are so relatable in so many ways that it would be hard for anyone to deny going through at least one of the moments presented on screen.

Where Samantha lives
The cinematography to this movie was shot by Hoyte Van Hoytema. Hoytema has also worked on other well acclaimed films like The Fighter (2010), Interstellar (2014) and Spectre (2015). Hoytema shots only move when needed, but lay still most of the time, especially during scenes that involve dialog between Theodore and Samantha. It just really takes you in. The lighting and coloring is great too, very bright and vibrant. The Canadian band Arcade Fire composed the musical score and it's great in its simplicity. The score mixes synths with piano and occasional guitar. That's really at that was needed. With these instruments alone, the score accomplishes the raw emotion needed to complete each scene and it works every time. Again though, why can't more production companies hire actual bands to do scoring. Mastodon did it in Jonah Hex (2010), Daft Punk did it in Tron: Legacy (2010) and M83 from Oblivion (2013). It's unique and should become a trend!

There's nothing that can be found that needs work. Everything from the acting, music, camerawork and especially the writing is massively successful in doing what it needed to do. Writer / director Spike Jonze has created a movie for the ages that viewers can actually take life lessons from. Hopefully, when we create REAL intelligence, we create a system like Samantha.

Points Earned --> 10:10

No comments:

Post a Comment