If you’ve considered seeing Her, let go of your preconceived notions and see the movie for what it really is.
A surface-level viewing of Her will tell you it’s a scary story about how technology is taking over the world and making us all miserable. It leaves the viewer wistful for the voice of Scarlett Johansson in our ears, but afraid about what that might mean for our society. That a man could spend 75% of a movie talking more or less ‘to his computer’ is a future that no longer feels far away, and that our Movies About The Future are now much more likely to actually happen isn’t something everyone is comfortable with.
But that’s only if you choose to see the brilliant screenplay Spike Jonze has written at the surface level, instead of engaging with Her(’s) true story. In the space between the earpiece and the ear, a real—and very human—relationship develops between a human and a non-human. What should be ‘scary’ about Her is how closely it resembles real life. How accurately and succinctly the dialogue between two people in love can degrade with confusion, dishonesty, and a lack of communication. How much we all feel, and how real it all feels, and how much it hurts, just like it hurts in this movie.
It takes a lot to capture the essence of humanity so accurately. It takes even more to project that humanity into a voice, to strip it of its face and body and therefore of its humanness, and yet convince the audience that it is just as real as you or I. Her isn’t about technology, or our relationship with it; Her is about our relationships with one another, and how we learn to live with those.
In many years...
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