Sunday, January 05, 2014

'Her' movie review

There is a dilemma that every writer faces - how to create something new  and refreshing out of the same subject that has been written about at-least a hundred times before? Writer-director Spike Jonze 
does this amazingly well with near-futuristic buildings without looking too 'sci-fi' and a story that seems plausible in this digital age.

'Her' is the story of Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) whose day-job is to craft hand-written letters to share love and joy, while at night he is desperately lonely seeking love and companionship that everyone desires until he installs a new Operating system 'Samantha' (the lyrical voice of Scarlett Johansson). This heralds the start of a 'relationship'. As Samantha listens to Theodore, makes him laugh and even flirts with him, Theodore cannot help but fall in love with 'her'.

At one level this seems to be a movie of human emotions, of bonding , of connections and the vicissitudes of  relationships, which is beautifully portrayed between Theodore and Samantha.But what bothers me is that it is so plausible a story that causes existential angst. People are already addicted to devices, but would they become so anti-social that they seek relationships with technology rather than humans?  Would they rather have a perfect-'I will be there for you always' Operating system rather than a woman who has arguments and disagrees with you?
I fear that such an operating system with AI would become a reality soon and might even come with some nuances of imperfections but I am pretty certain that the idiosyncrasies that we are born with cannot be replicated. Only I know where my nose itches.