copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

I'm going to start with my main problem with this film. This problem will probably not bother that many people as it is specific to my character, but... This film is about a man starting a relationship with a fully humanised artificial intelligence and I did not believe in it one bit. In 2001 A Space Odyssey I believed in the artificial intelligence called HAL and I still do. For a time of interstellar travel HAL's vocal expression and capabilities seemed appropriate. However, in Her we are clearly presented with a not too distant future and we are supposed to believe that in that not too distant future people will have an OS that is so fluent in all human emotions and communication capabilities that it acts and sounds just like. I'm sorry, no. Certain scenes of interaction between the AI and the main character just outright made me laugh because they seemed so ridiculous. If I cannot believe in something that is central to a film then that pretty much ruins the story for me.


It is just Scarlett Johansson talking off-screen to Joaquin Phoenix and at no point did I think differently. They ask the audience to pretend that the voice is coming from the AI. This is just lazy to me. And the fact that her character is supposed to be an AI is the main pitch for the movie. Otherwise it’s just a common love story, and you know what, that is exactly what this is: a love story with not much of a plot.


Because really there is not much else going on. Joaqin’s character gets into this relationship with the AI and then they talk…..and then something happens and then the movie is over.


This movie is more about themes than story, like the Joaquin’s character and why his relationships fail, as well as general thoughts on human relationships, but the failed AI pitch and the lack of story are still too central to ignore.


However,

the movie is one of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen, if not the prettiest. It has this light and bright style that makes you want to breath it in like fresh air. The camera often uses narrow depth of field with a gorgeous bokeh effect in the background. Great shots and color, which...unfortunately also kept making me think that I was watching a commercial for a phone or a camera. I guess that says more about the style of those commercials than about this movie, but I thought I'd mention it because it was distracting at times. The first thought would always be “Damn, this looks gorgeous!”, immediately followed by, “When is the picture of the new Samsung going to show up?”


In terms of the acting, this is very much a movie of Joaquin Phoenix's face (as the poster suggests). There are a lot of up-close shots and the answer to whether or not Joaquin can carry an entire movie centered on his character from up-close is of course yes. This actor was made for emotional roles like this one and has proved himself multiple times in the past.


I cannot praise this film as much as so many critics did. The movie clocks at over 2 hours and not much happens during that time. It is a loose deliberation on love but not much else, and the AI thing does not work for me, but the cinematography is awesome and the acting is really up-close and personal.

Her