My other half sold it to me as a film he really wanted to see, where ‘Joaquin (Wack’em!) Phoenix falls in love with his computer.’ We were both imagining a kind of ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ type film, I think.
It’s a great film. Anyway, this isn’t a very well researched or prepared post. But I watched the film a week or so ago, and it has been on my mind and I think it’s an important film for people to see.
It’s set vaguely in the future in LA. It cleverly never tells us when, exactly.
Joaquin plays Theodore Twombly. He works for a company that writes hand written letters to people’s loved ones. How wonderful but utterly sad. Theodore researches the couple and writes a heart-felt letter to one, or both of them for special occasions. It’s made up on the computer… please don’t let that ever happen. This is initially a small part of the film but it says so much about how impersonal everything is getting. Keep writing hand written letters to people you care about, internet!
He is sad and quiet, going through a divorce, as we discover. Or not going through it as he won’t sign anything, he is terrified to move on, and he is so broken by it.
Initially, I found there to be too much sex. No physical sex, chat room sex and then Operating System drunken sex. But I realise that it’s all pertinent to the message of the film. Connecting. The importance of a connection, not necessarily physical. Also, if someone discovered an operating system that was conscious and curious and such, do we honestly think he or even she is not going to furtively experiment with that?!
Samatha, voiced by Charlotte Johansson, is Theodore’s new Operating System (OS). Advertised as having intuition, she’s bright and funny and wanting to learn. She does a lot of practical things to help Theodore put his life back together. Initially strangely efficient things regarding his break up, that are the logical thing to do, but when we add human emotion are virtually impossible.
However, as they get to know each other she begins to have what seems to be human feelings. She experiences jealousy and hopes for him. He feels so close to her and they form a relationship.
The film is a truly fascinating look at relationships. What makes a relationship? What’s important? As the ‘herthefilm’ website says:
From the unique perspective of Oscar-nominated film maker Spike Jonze comes an original love story that explores the evolving nature—and the risks—of intimacy in the modern world.
I watched a youtube review, and the guy said that he loves how the film is just accepting of the changing, important role technology has in our lives. It isn’t making a statement one way or another, it doesn’t condemn technology or promote it.
I know this is a bit bitty, I have missed my wee blog so much. I want you people to watch this film and discuss it with me. In fact I want to watch it again I think.
Arcade Fire does the score, also. Brilliant.
Have you seen it?