Friday, January 24, 2014

'Her' is all about him...Joaquin Phoenix

We had just seen and wondered where he went wrong last year, to not have been able to stand on the Oscars podium with the golden statue in hand. In fact, he didnt receive any of the major awards for his jaw-dropping performance in 'The Master'. This year again this man arrives with another exceptional performance, very much in contrast to his awkward character in 'The master' in 'Her'.

Spike Jones futuristic, surreal in some ways romance of a man and his artificial intelligence, is simply a bizarrely likeable movie. Theodore played by Joaquin, is lonely after his divorce, and finds comfort and support in a modern OS which talks to its users after understanding the psyche of the user. It goes very well for long, and he is convinced that he has fallen in love with this OS in the way that he would have loved a human. Things change and the movie tries to subtly put across the challenges of human and technology interactions. A little surreal in the way Jones has characterized the AI (with Scarlett Johanssens voice), but able to convey the meaninglessness of not having a real relationship. The movie does at times encourage the possibility of a love story with machines and AI, but doesn't go overboard with the idea. Can love thrive without a physical body? This theme though approached by many in different ways, like love through letters or through phone, now finds a new interpretation here. He does successfully bring out the emotions though the protagonist was in love with an OS. The movie moves from being just another smart or an intelligently written futuristic drama, to a touching and warm love story.

Joaquin Phoenix has always been in films where performance will always be the highlight. Him , and yet another impressive performer, Amy Adams, who was with him in 'The Master' too, have given admirable but subtle performances for this movie. Amy Adams would be more happier with her work in 'American Hustle', but her small but consistent act, gives the movie more amp. Rooney Mara as the divorced wife, and Olivia Wilde as a date, justifies their roles too.

With just two main characters and an exploration to find love in a age where people are more connected to machines than the person sitting a palm away from you, 'Her' raises a few questions and in a way, answers many of them too, which come out to be food for thought for the viewers. Even after being a post-modernly tech and highly fictional futuristic drama, it touches all the right notes of human emotions.

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