A haunting film that seduces the heart

Her starring Joaquin Phoenix. Photo: PA Photo/Entertainment In Film
Her starring Joaquin Phoenix. Photo: PA Photo/Entertainment In Film

Writer-director Spike Jonze is a man of fascinating contradictions. On one hand, he is a co-creator of the Jackass TV series and films, which revel in bad taste humour.

On the other, he is the Oscar-nominated visionary responsible for the films Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Where The Wild Things Are, which refuse to pander to the whims and expectations of the masses.

If common sense and justice prevail, Jonze should get the Academy Award statuette he richly deserves for his script to this haunting and heart-breaking romance. Her takes our fascination with technology as a means to forge personal relationships to the next level, imagining a love story between a man and his home computer’s voice-activated operating system.

Jonze elicits a tour-de-force turn from Joaquin Phoenix as his unexpectedly love-struck protagonist and a sexy vocal performance from Scarlett Johansson as the rapidly evolving artificial intelligence, who begins to question her limitations.

Phoenix plays Theodore Twombly, a shy, introverted man who has been emotionally scarred by the impending divorce from his sweetheart (Rooney Mara).