Her is the most thoughtful film about technology nowadays that I’ve seen. Instead of portraying the advancement of technology as cold and distant, Her focuses much more on how much human is in technology. This is achieved cleverly: by using a warm colour palette.
Ever since I saw the trailer to Her, I was charmed by Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of Samantha. I wasn’t wrong and she was great in the film. Her portrayal of an operating system with a conscious was radiant and intriguing one – even though she wasn’t physically there, her presence was tangible throughout the film. I was actually so disappointed in that her name didn’t come in the credits, side by side with Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara and Amy Adams. I read that Spike Jonze first had Samantha Morton voice Samantha, but in post-production decided against it and recast with Johansson, shooting some scenes again and having Johansson read Samantha. I’m glad that he did, because I can’t imagine the film working with anyone else than with Scarlett Johansson as Samantha.
Jonze also nails the atmosphere – from two viewings, I didn’t find even one inconsistency. I really loved Theodore’s shirts, his apartment, office, the streets. There are differences, the futurism is implied in every scene, but they are subtle and never thrown into our faces as the blue-and-gray films so often do.
Some of my favourite parts in the film are the scenes when we watch the world through Theodore’s eyes and look at the people. In Jonze’s near future, all people in the streets look like zombies. Nobody pays attention to their surroundings or talks to real people, only to ones who are an earpiece away or to their operating systems – even before OS1. I’m a big advocate of not going around, face glued into a smartphone – I’m afraid of that future. After the film, I almost ran to my host family because the detachedness I’d seen in Her scared me and I really craved human contact.1 The people who we get to know, mainly Theodore’s ex-wife and best friend, though show us that deep down, behind the invisible screens, they’re still human. Here I’d also mention how great were Amy Adams (who got the best lines, too – “Falling in love is a crazy thing to do, it’s like a form of socially acceptable insanity”) and Rooney Mara, whose character’s incorporation into the film was done so beautifully that in a world where Gravity doesn’t exist, Her would’ve deserved to win an Oscar for editing, too.
I went to see it with my family, too, a few days later, and besides from everyone crying, they were all scared, too. I hope everyone is.
1 And believe me, I’m big on staying in my room, alone behind my computer, for days.