My thoughts on the film, “her”, starring Joaquin Phoenix: I would recommend watching this film, and give it 4 stars.
The film is set in the future, in L.A., and the premise is that the lead character, Theodore, is depressed while in the process of divorcing his wife. He buys a newly released Operating System (OS) which is conscious, and is called Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). At first she starts out by helping organise his affairs, but soon they build more of a friendship, and eventually fall in love. As she is an OS and lives in his PC, she does not have a body, but he takes her out on dates by carrying around his phone so she can see through the camera.
The first explores their relationship from a number of aspects. From Theodore’s perspective, their love brings him a lot of happiness and joy, but also doubts – what does it say about him that he can’t find a human to love, but only a machine? While this angle is fairly predictable, what I found more interesting was seeing it from Samantha’s perspective. First, she feels the deficiency of not having a body, and tries to experience this through a surrogate (a woman wearing a camera on her face). Later on, Theodore finds out that she is too fast for humans, and finds their individual conversation too slow and dull – given her processing speed she can have thousands of conversations at one time, and, unfortunately for Theodore, also love many people at one time. While surprising, it does feel the logical conclusion to such a situation.
Both of the lead actors, Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson (though her voice only) give great performances in this film. It’s quite funny in a number of places, as well as having interesting and unexpected developments in their relationship. The only downsides for me are that because Samantha has no body, it’s harder to feel much for her, or to enjoy their relationship; and there does seem excessive and unnecessary swearing/crude language in places.