See Her Now. (the movie)

Jan 13, 2014

Her is a movie for which my expectations were completely blinded by reality. It fits no category: not quite a traditional romance film, no Star-Trek sci-fi vibes, not a drama. It poses a time so far removed and advanced but it feels all too real. I think the best way to describe Her is that it is honest. Sentient tech doesn’t have to devolve into a misanthropic piece of cold metal. Love is not always rose-tinted nor is it filled with heartbreak.

The Color Palette

The cinematography is fresh. Colors clearly play an important role. Red dominates the movie posters, the office, and main character (played by Joaquin Phoenix) Twombly’s wardrobe. The color of love does not disappoint.

Red, the color of passion, does not fail us here.
How many red shirts does Twombly have??

Yellow is a happy-go-lucky color and several of the most joyful scenes are tinted that way.

Olivia Wilde, the blind date
I've argued with many about the importance of Olivia Wilde's character. I think she contributes as a commentary of the state of present-day relationships.

White when Twombly is alone.

Obviously intential whiteness
The most unrealistic thing about Her is how good looking the entire cast is.

A film about computers, a message about humanity

Samantha, the intelligent OS
Ironically enough, Scarlett Johansson’s best work is one where you never see her on screen.

My favorite part about the film is that it is, for the most part, ambivalent about human-computer relationships. It aims to define love in terms of emotions and a mutual commitment and the main character’s interactions with his ex-wife and his blind date Olivia Wilde are a bitter reminder of the state of some human relationships.

“Falling in love is a crazy thing to do. It’s kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity”–Amy

A killer soundtrack

After seeing Fonze’s previous films, I’m not surprised that Arcade Fire was commissioned to make a piece for this film. The other music also well-captures a kind of bittersweet feeling and I’m particularly fond of The Moon Song. The piano pieces that Samantha composes for Twombly are beautiful and brief. I’m glad to say that the visual detail paid in the film is well matched with the audio.

Nothing’s perfect.

I do have a few peeves about the movie. Twombly’s job of writing love letters for other people is a kind of crude way to deliver commentary on human relationships and seems unrealistic. And I’m not sure how I should feel about Samantha being programmed to be a compatible match for Twombly.

Despite my few qualms, I truly think that Her is one of the best films I’ve watched in a while. It delivers beautiful commentary on humanity and love. And in regards to technology, it raises some interesting ideas. Should user interfaces gravitate toward voice commands? If we had the technology to make a computer program that feels emotions is it ethical to run that program? And if we did, would the program associate as human?