“Her” – A Brilliantly Chilling Film About Modern Technology And Solitude

Joaquin Phoenix in “Her” (Warner Bros Pictures)

Yesterday, I went to see the movie “Her” (2013). “Her” is a science fiction love story depicting the tale of lonely letter writer Theodore Twombly (played by Joaquin Phoenix) and his love affair with a Siri-like operating system, “Samantha” (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).

In the movie, divorced and lonely Twombly finds solace in an unlikely place – his operating system. As the movie progresses, his operating system “Samantha” evolves and adapts to pick up more human-like characteristics, and the two fall in love.

While the film’s plot is beautifully weaved, it is also poignantly chilling and deeply unsettling to see how modern technology is able to provide a solution to solitude – a solution that isn’t quite ideal, as it is one that may very well further isolate us from having social interactions with our fellow humans.

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I have always been a big fan of sci-fi films that explore the highly fascinating realm of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality. What happens when AI approaches a human level of sentience? Do we embrace this technological advancement and accept its full integration into our everyday lives?

The concept of falling in love with something virtual is not entirely new. In December 2009, a Japanese man married his virtual girlfriend – a Nintendo DS game character. While most people view this as sheer craziness, or nothing more than a display of a young man’s extreme video game addiction, there are some out there who truly believe that it is possible to find love & companionship in virtual reality.

One of my favourite quotes from the movie is, “Falling in love is a crazy thing to do. It’s kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity.”

Perhaps all of us who have fallen in love before are crazy in some way, regardless of whether our love target is human or not.


15 thoughts on ““Her” – A Brilliantly Chilling Film About Modern Technology And Solitude

  1. I thought the costumes were interesting, a 1930s throwback kind of going with the whole retro futurism thing that the movie has going on. Apparently there’s a capsule collection at Opening Ceremony in NY lol

    • It is! You should definitely go check it out if you’re interested in sci-fi, or just enjoy a good love story with a twist!

      Hmm.. that’s an interesting thought! I suppose they might have! That would probably have helped with getting them in the mood for the dialogues, I suppose! 😛

  2. Speaking of their clothes, me and Anthony both would crack up every time we see the guys’ pants, especially that Charles character, it was up so high lol!
    And what was the safety pins all about. Sometimes there was one, sometimes two.

    • That’s hilarious! Hmm.. I never noticed when there were two!

      But yea, it’s pretty neat how they weave these little details into the film to make things feel slightly “off” from the present day, eh? 😛

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