I’m introducing myself to Joaquin Phoenix because every review I go, he is always praised. Thus, I first watched Her (2013) yesterday.
What do I recall about the movie? Basically it’s about relationships but this time intuitive Operating Systems (OS) take part in the relationship. I was curious with:
1 if you have a relationship with an OS/ artificial intelligence, is it real?
2 will it be like a human relationship?
3 is it also bounded by unwritten rules of faithfulness and monogamy?
4 will it survive even without physical presence?
These are the kinds of movies I try to avoid because these bore me. Same reason I haven’t watched the Before Sunset series. But since I’m a fan of Annie Hall, I continued watching Her after 10 minutes.
What saved the movie in my eyes? Acting skills of Joaquin Phoenix (Theodore) and Rooney Mara (Catherine). I appreciate Amy Adams (Amy) as well. My favorite parts are the signing of divorce papers scene (specifically after Catherine signed the document and finished with the flashbacks; her facial reaction was very natural) and the almost break up conversation with Theodore and OS Samantha (after an argument, Theodore and Samantha talked and Samantha said that she now knows why she loves Theodore and Theodore’s face gradually lightened up). There are so many small reactions from Phoenix and Mara that makes everything relatable.
At the end, it was not a waste of my time (thanks to Phoenix, Mara and Adams and well edited scenes and good music score). But I am not comfortable with the idea of a human being getting romantically involved with an OS.
And I was disappointed of the formation of Theodore’s company where they make/ write letters for people. Come on. What happened to people in that world? A person would hire somebody to express what they feel? I understand the possible reasons of doing that but it was plainly insincere for me. But I think this is already happening in the real world now.
I was also disgusted of the scene where Theodore tried to accept a surrogate (a human being who voluntarily agreed to act as a physical body of OS Samantha so they can play house for a moment and possibly be a solution to Samantha’s “I don’t have a body” insecurities). But yes, this also happens. I mean people in a relationship tend to do things that they don’t want to make the other person happy. A trap! For some, the act is sweet but to me doing things you don’t like to satisfy your partner is naive. This will only cause resentment.
With these “don’t likes” in the movie Her, the cast and team of Her elicited certain emotions in me. And I am pleased with movies that make me feel. Although I didn’t cry in this movie, I have a lot of realizations in the movie; realizations that I do hope can help me in my own relationships.
As my title directly said, my goal here is to really attach a letter that I love from the movie. Here goes:
“Theodore: Dear Catherine, I’ve been sitting here thinking about all the things I wanted to apologize to you for. All the pain we caused each other. Everything I put on you. Everything I needed you to be or needed you to say. I’m sorry for that. I’ll always love you ‘cause we grew up together and you helped make me who I am. I just wanted you to know there will be a piece of you in me always, and I’m grateful for that. Whatever someone you become, and wherever you are in the world, I’m sending you love. You’re my friend to the end. Love, Theodore.”
If you haven’t watched the movie, do so; then let’s talk about it. If you have, comment below your thoughts.