One man’s creation is another man’s love

Posted on 16 February 2014
By Charlie Elgar
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‘Relationship’ – “The way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected”.

Everyone searches for that perfect match – but does it ever get discovered?

Joaquin Phoenix stars as Theodore in Her – this year’s greatest love story so far. Theodore is a lonely writer who can’t seem to come to terms with his divorce. His life lacks fun, excitement, and company.

Set in the very near future in a world only a teeny bit different to the one in which we live now, this dramedy is ultimately a story of self-discovery and romance – but with a twist…

Theodore is one day introduced to the latest technology in artificial intelligence – a personal operating system configured and designed to meet and care for his every need.

In an isolated world, what more could one man want than to have someone there for him constantly? Someone who is selfless, ideal, funny and smart. These are the qualities that Theodore finds in Samantha – the rather seductive yet gentle piece of technology that accompanies him everywhere he goes.

Writer Theodore is a professional when it comes to words, however it appears that his operating system trumps him in this department as the husky voice of Scarlett Johansson aids him to view his life in a much needed new light. While the relationship continuously blossoms, Theodore feels born again. He starts to have fun and enjoy the smaller things in life – a new lease of existence that is so simply rediscovered through the voice of what could be argued as his true love.

Focussing more on the overall plot of this story as opposed to the step-by-step scenes, we find ourselves travelling on a journey with Theodore. The constant laughter and enjoyment he experiences with Samantha is touching and heart-warming, yet the reoccurring thought is constantly there in the back of our minds, repeating over and over again – Theodore is in love with technology, not a real human being. But does that really matter?

Spike Jonze’s love story poses the question of what may be to come in the future, and how technology may take us to that ‘next level’. We observe Theodore as he, much like the other characters in the film, becomes wrapped up in his own idyllic world with Samantha, oblivious to the goings on around him.

Joaquin Phoenix plays the role of a man who is, at the end of it all, smitten. Every minute of every day Theodore is interacting with this ‘being’ in such a way that can only be described as natural. They don’t argue, they don’t fight and they most certainly don’t complain about each other – isn’t that the perfect relationship? Maybe it is, however as the film progresses it appears to be only a matter of time, we fear, until Theodore realises that Samantha is ultimately a present day result of our future’s technology.

Amy Adams and Rooney Mara play the supporting roles very convincingly, however this is predominantly a story of Theodore – a lonesome man who is captured by love. We fear for the moment when he takes a step back and sees that he has fallen for a trapped voice – but is this a sign of things to come?