Her ★★★★★

There are many things I’ve grown up knowing. One of those things is that, as long as humans will be humans, love cannot be endless. It’s inherently flawed, futile, and painful. It sucks you in so temptingly and for a brief moment, you are joyful and free and alive together with another. But it can only ever end in a slow descent into hatred and emptiness, a hollow shell of the warmth the relationship once held. I never knew any sort of love that didn’t end in constant fighting, distancing, and eventual nothingness. That is the kind of world i’ve accepted and expected as normal my whole life. In recent years, I’ve tried to combat this and feel a little semblence of hope, but I constantly find myself observing other people’s relationships and thinking “I bet they hate eachother when no ones looking” and “They must be so unhappy, and if not now they will be soon”. It’s fucking horrible, and as a result I’ve always feared I could never be a good partner to anyone; that I’d never be satisfied and that I would always find a way to ruin whatever love I shared with someone, that I would never have a happy ending no matter how much I desire affection. The same dilemma is shared with Theodore in “Her”.

I could write letters upon letters about the mastery behind this film. From the heartbreakingly realistic performances, the popping colours and cinematography, the haunting score and the beauty of its direction, kudos to the fantastic Spike Jonze. 

And yet the one thing that stood out the most to me was just how much it struck me, how much it picked my brain and made me think “Yeah. I know what that feels like.” It made me feel genuinely miserable as I looked back and thought about how much I was missing in myself. It hurt to watch. Yet it didn’t just tell me what was wrong with me, it offered a sort of therapy; some semblance of guidance. I think what I took away from it is that while love is imperfect and fleeting, it is so much more fun to enjoy it while it lasts than to fear it. “I’m not going to be here forever, so I might as well allow myself to feel joy. So fuck it.”

That’s good cinema. It is filmmaking that doesn’t just hold up a mirror to its audience, but offers its hand to guide them to a better place: a more joyful place, even if it’s only for 2 hours and 6 minutes. But great cinema, like “Her” let’s you walk away changed forever with a different, however slightly, mindset that will follow you for life. I think I’ll carry this one with me for awhile.