Her (2013)

Movie- Her (2013)


I like movies with depth. And with Her there is a level of depth that makes the experience more than just a visual one, one not just of vertical sense but horizontally and laterally. It makes rewatching the film a pleasure where you get to pick up small bites or cues you didn’t see the first time, and I always enjoy watching a good movie twice. The level of sophistication in Her made that easy, and shows the paradox of a man both in love, and out of love; living in the moment and out of the moment; of a world both wildly fascinating and colourful, but yet entraps the soul of the individuality strip to the dullest of touch.

And in that individuality we see Theodore, off the start reciting a beautiful passage drawn from his emotional wells, a deeply sentimental man who fits the perfect ideal of the husband material, yet you wonder why he is unable to live up to that image. Those who reached terminal greatness in their fields are often tormented of their success, and in a man as lovable as Theo, why can’t he be loved?

There is a certain melancholy to the air of a man like that I find hugely intriguing, not lest for what has happened to him, but for what I could learn from him. It makes all the more because it is easily relatable of having to recover from a misstep and finding a way to put himself back on track.

And who better to do it than Samantha.

It is no more of a beautiful meeting than it is of chance, yet a calculated probability so probable that it takes two one hundredth of a second and 180,000 names to create a perfect electric spark, the effect of which is immediately cannibalised and energised into Theo. Yet it is that exact precision I like about Samantha, a relentless and unforgiving efficiency, churning straight off the bat to clear up emails, contacts, and his life.

We all have an inner Samantha in us, yet we suppress her through procrastination, sloth, effortless and false ignorance. There is a clock in all of us that is constantly reminding ourselves that we can and is capable of being much better, yet the impression of having the time and the rest of the clock continues to fool us all. Samantha belongs to the future and so does our clock, our minute man running mere seconds to striking twelve and if you don’t work for your future, what are you working for?

And in that future of Her I see one of dazzling and shimmering promise, not just of surface superficiality in its aesthetics appeal, but a world of constant development and self improvement. I believe in the truth that in pursuing the self I will lose some sense of the group, even in my present arrangement of work and school I find it challenging on the social context, having to trim down my network. I have no doubt that as the days grow older I will see to lose more and deepen few, but such is life.

What could threaten life then? Surely an event of systems running the world leaving us would create a void so big that any attempts to plug it would be akin to papering plaster over a breached hull. We might not all drown, but the ship is going to sink eventually. This event, termed technology singularity, has been the focus of some of the top minds currently, and a consensus of a date around 2040.Like Sam Huntington’s Clash of Civilisation, another hypothesis that predicts the coming of religious destruction on a scale never seen before.I always think that I am fortunate because I live in one of the most exciting periods of life, while I can’t say for the future I have no complaints of being in the crossroads of a civilisation going from good to great yet facing threats never seen before.

In Her, all that knowledge, possibly a gap of thousands of years on the scale of human learning would be lost. Yet I liked how in the face of danger one still can be optimistic, and as Theo would ask, but where are you going? Samantha would put it- It’s not of the physical world and a little hard to explain, but if you ever get there, come find me. I believe that someday we can, and we will, that in adversity we find strength, to overcome all odds against us.

“Come find me when you get here, nothing will ever pull us apart.”

Love is a struggle. And as Theo would say, it is okay to feel that way of being in a perpetual state of lovesick without being heartbroken, of crying for ladies, only to be rebuffed by an alien kid who calls him a giant pussy, as if appearing vulnerable to your emotions are a form of weakness that we cannot admit. From a point of an alien perspective viewing Earth, you do need a weird warped wry sense of humour to digest it; humans incapable of admitting their love and vulnerability to each other.

Especially if you are falling in love with artificial intelligence. Just kidding. But seriously, what is? When I first heard about the movie, I thought it was plain stupid, that no one could or would ever fall in love with his computer. When I finished that movie, I was in love and slightly heartbroken.And that prejudice has gone and since replaced with a tinge of anger at that childishness, of gaining a pre-notion before even understanding the subject matter- Are A.I truly inferior because they are not on a physical plane?

That was the initial premise, and it was perfect how Spike Jonze crafted and altered that premise as the movie moves along. First we see Samantha sobbing of wanting to be there beside Theo, culminating in a crux of hiring a body substitute and a final realisation that it is a humanistic desire transplanted on her, and we see a sudden turnabout and the perfect transformation in the picnic where she jostled about her ability of being ethereal, unknowingly and unintentionally shaming and putting down her human counterparts. Well played, Spike.

It is all this pre-notion and precognition that is the fallacy of men, judgemental narrow cynics divided by racism, sexism, classism, lookism, homophobic, xenophobic, religion and status. Yet we forgot that we are all unified by love and an inherent need for social and emotional support, and we are perfectly capable of loving them all, and as Samantha would say- but the heart’s not like a box that gets filled up, it expands in size the more you love.

Love is pure, indeed.

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Published in: on May 28, 2015 at 7:22 am  Leave a Comment  

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