Warning: we dip into spoiler territory here. The big reveals will be rot13’ed, of course, but we’ll be discussing theme and plot without encryption.
We caught Her yesterday at the local movie theater. Spike Jonze is getting better and better. He’s learning restraint and subtlety without reliance on being oh-so-clever and this is, as he puts it, his “boy meets computer” story.
Here’s the basic plot: it’s 15 minutes into the future and Theodore is a guy who writes letters for a living. Beautiful Handwritten Letters dotcom (or similar) in which he dictates letters to his computer which then transcribes them with lovely script. (Okay, maybe that’s not the best place to start if we’re trying to argue that he’s not relying on being oh-so-clever but this actually works… it comes across more as him giving everything away in the first few minutes.) Theodore is thiiiiiiis close to his divorce being final (he needs only sign the papers). He spends his evenings with videogames and online horndog chatrooms (both decidedly unsatisfying). And he upgrades his computer with the newest and latest and greatest OS.
The newest and latest and greatest OS is where the movie takes off. The OS is an artificial intelligence and after a staggeringly short personality test (that seemed to have a lot more answers than those suggested by the program), Samantha is installed into Theodore’s life.
It’s at this point that we get into spoiler territory so before I talk about the ending (and rewrite how *I* would have done the ending), I’ll just say that this is one heck of a romantic movie that you should definitely see with your significant other. Joaquin Phoenix is perfect as Theodore, Scarlett Johansson is surprisingly awesome as disembodied Samantha, and Rooney Mara steals the show. See it.
(And, warning: Spoilers follow)
Fher, jr pna rnfvyl thrff gung Gurbqber snyyf va ybir jvgu Fnznagun. Jr pna rnfvyl thrff gung Gurbqber vf n ovg bs n frys-nofbeorq ceng jub vf zber vagrerfgrq va uvzfrys guna jvgu npghnyyl univat n erny, sbe erny, eryngvbafuvc jvgu na npghny uhzna orvat. Naq jr pna rnfvyl thrff gung uvf eryngvbafuvc jvgu Fnznagun raqf hc znxvat uvz n unccvre, orggre crefba zber pncnoyr bs univat erny, sbe erny, eryngvbafuvcf jvgu npghny uhzna orvatf. Guvf cneg bs gur zbivr geniryf n cngu gung vf fngvfslvatyl cerqvpgnoyr.
Ohg gura jr trg gb gur raqvat. Gur raqvat, vs lbh nfx zr, xvaqn fhpxf.
Urer’f jung unccraf: nsgre na ragver fho-cybg qribgrq gb Gurbqber’f vanovyvgl gb trg bire gur jubyr “fur’f abg yvxr lbh” guvat, naq n unaqshy bs pbzcner/pbagenfg pbairefngvbaf jurer gur pybfrq-zvaqrq crefba vf pehryyl qvfzvffvir bs Fnznagun juvyr gur bcra-zvaqrq crbcyr ybir gnxvat Gurbqber naq Fnznagun ba n qbhoyr-qngr, jr svaq bhg gung abg bayl vf Fnznagun qngvat 640vfu bgure crbcyr (naq gurl unir n dhvpx naq cnvashy cbylnzbel qvfphffvba) ohg gura, nsgre gung obzofuryy, jr svaq bhg gung, gnu-qnu, Fnznagun vfa’g yvxr Gurbqber naq gung’f jul gurl pna ab ybatre or gbtrgure. (Vaqrrq, nyy bs gur Negvsvpvny Vagryyvtraprf fnl “lbh xabj jung? V’z Nhqv” naq yrnir gur cynarg.)
FB URER VF ZL RAQVAT:
Fgneg sebz gur cbvag jurer Gurbqber naq Fnznagun unir gur cbylnzbel qvfphffvba jurer vg pbzrf bhg gung Fnznagun vf frrvat 640vfu bgure crbcyr. Guvf pna or n cnvashy xvaqn qvfphffvba naq gung pna or rkcyberq va vgf rkpehpvngvat qrgnvy naq gura, nsgre jr trg guebhtu gung, unir Gurbqber naq Fnznagun unzzre bhg gung vg’f bxnl vs Gurbqber naq Nzl gel gb fgneg qngvat (znlor unir n sha nfvqr jurer Fnznagun qbrfa’g yvxr gur vqrn bs Gurbqber qngvat bgure crbcyr orpnhfr vg’f qvssrerag… ohg vs gung’f gbb qvivfvir, yrnir gung cneg bhg) naq gura gurl gragngviryl fgneg qngvat (nccneragyl, Nzl’f BF unq guvf pbairefngvba jvgu ure nf jryy… jnvg, vf Nzl’f BF Fnznagun gbb?).
Gurbqber naq Nzl ner npghnyyl, abj, svanyyl noyr gb unir n erny, sbe erny, eryngvbafuvc. Juvpu, tvira Gurbqber naq Nzl’f yvzvgngvbaf, zrnaf gung gurl fgneg gerngvat Fnznagun (naq gur bgure BF) zber naq zber yvxr n crefbany nffvfgnag negvsvpvny vagryyvtrapr jub yvirf va gurve pbzchgref. Creuncf gurl fgvyy fnl “V ybir lbh”, sebz gvzr gb gvzr.
So… what are you reading and/or watching?