Friday, 24 January 2014
Where does our relationship with technology begin and end? Where is our relationship with technology headed as technology becomes increasingly sophisticated? Where is our relationship with other humans headed when we (some of us, most of us?) are becoming increasingly dependent on our technology?
I don't know if these are the questions Spike Jonze is asking in his movie 'Her' but they are the sort of questions that occurred to me. In the film, set in the not too distant future, a lonely writer of letters for others too busy or no longer able to write their own personal letters, develops a relationship with his intuitive (anyone for an Apple Mac?) new operating system.
It seems a fanciful notion yet a notion not so unrealistic when one considers the extent to which we are becoming 'wedded to' our tablets, smart phones and digital players.
The world Jonze paints is a crowded yet a curiously lonely one. People speak but there is little noise. There are crowds of people yet most are non connecting individuals or as we soon realise they are individuals connecting with others sight unseen.
The writer (Joaquin Phoenix) has to perform many of his scenes with the disembodied voice of his operating system (Scarlett Johansson) which poses obvious acting challenges for both performers. The performances are mostly effective.
There are a few uncomfortable moments; some of the sex scenes felt somewhat unnerving to me, but here is a film with an original and contemporarily relevant idea.