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Reclusive Martin lives a life that consists of work, playing games, sleep and rare meetings with his two neighbours-friends. He is going through a divorce and doesn’t seem to enjoy his life very much. That is before he buys an operating system assistant (an OS). She calls herself Sam and turns his world upside down. Thus begins an unusual love affair, strange but possible in a world very much like our own.
HER is a satirical love story placed in not so distant future. The unsettling part is how possible it all looks. Does your partner think that you are having a love affair with your new ipad? When did you last leave home without your mobile phone? And what about SIRI? In HER devices infiltrated everything, this world has accepted them as a part of life and even a love affair with and OS system seems like a normal thing.
In modern movie making to have a high concept is not enough to make an exceptional film. What makes HER exceptional is tightly written script (it took five months to write) a hilarious dialogue and characters that take seconds to identify with. The movie feels original, even when it follows the familiar territory of any love story: romance - break up - reunion. The details of the “world”are incredible. While Shanghai as a background “city of the future” is very much recognizable, it is fashion details (high waist men’s pants anyone?), interior designs, computer interfaces and game consoles make this world real.
The voice of Scarlett Johansson is warm and reassuring. You do not get a glimpse of her, even once, although it is strange that SAM, who is upset not having a body, did not draw a computer generated version of herself.
Phoenix’s Martin is a little awkward, but probably the kindest and most generous character seen on screen in recent years.
Supporting cast of Rooney Mara as Martin’s old flame, Amy Adams as a girl next door and Olivia Wild as a “hot date” are all fantastic and make the most of the short screen time given to them. These ladies have one thing in common - they are all single a little pushy pseudo-intellectuals in their late thirties, who believe that having a relationship is essential at their age and part of being someone successful. It is not random that crowd shots in the film mostly showing single people walking the streets, talking on their phones (or to their phones), as if highlighting that in this world true loving relationships are rare.
HER is a movie that increases its value after multiple viewings and it will be entertaining to watch with different friends and see what they think about it. Some movies are impossible to grasp in a short review. The characters of HER are not real, just like the OS system, but definitely worth to fall in love with, even if it’s just for a short time.