Friday, January 10, 2014

Her - Review

I've never left a film speechless before. But, this film hit me so hard, emotionally, I didn't have a choice. I tried commenting how beautiful the matte paintings were. But, my friend could tell there was something more, that I was mulling over deep inside. Just watching this film was more potent than the past three months of therapy I endured.

I started off the film feeling annoyed with Theodor Trombly, for being such a pathetic sap of a character. But as his past unfolded and I learned more about him, the more I saw of myself in him. He's a puppy that desires to be a dragon, a sentimental romantic who's had love torn from his arms, because, he keeps his true emotions sheltered from those around him.  Theodor Trombly was the deepest character portrayed on screen in 2013; for all of his human qualities. 

All of this is due to two main factors, Spike Jonze, and Joaquin Phoenix giving the best performance of his life. After seeing his brutish and disturbing portrayal, of Freddie Quell in The Master, it's nice to see him take a more toned down role that has more than two speeds. Yes, Trombly's depth is there, but that's because Phoenix is able to deliver such a wide range of emotions. It's also there because of Jonze's writing. Jonze was able to hit everything that was missed in his Where The Wild Things Are screenplay. He succeeds in writing, an elaborately layered screenplay, with stronger and more complex characters.

As for Jonze's directing, he nails it once again. He manages to use his full bag of tricks in this film and I could gush about that sack for days. The obvious result is he makes his best film to date by really putting us in Trombly's head. His use of editing and sound design stand out the most. These are the two key elements that really bring you into the character. The way some of the sound effects repeat and drag can make a scene the perfect amount of overwhelming. On top of all this there is Hoyte Van Hoytema's gritty cinematography; where he just let's the grain dance on the screen. 

The film is brilliant and emotional. If, 12 Years a Slave taught me to persevere and Walter Mitty taught me to live my life to the fullest. Then this film walked straight up to me and told me quite bluntly, "You need to sort it all out or your going no where." Thank you, Spike Jonze for making, Her.

Paul's Rating: 9 out of 10

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