Film Discussion – ‘Her’ (2013)

Her is an interesting film written and directed by Spike Jonze, which differs from many films that I have seen. Jonze’s previous credits come from a variety of areas; music video collaborations with artists such as Daft Punk, Björk and Kanye West, producer for the zany Jackass as well as directing Charlie Kaufman’s mind-bending Being John Malkovich and Adaption alongside the highly-anticipated Where The Wild Things Are. (As a side-note here, I have seen and love Being John Malkovich, but have not yet seen either Adaption or Where The Wild Things Are, however it seems likely they are also great films).

This film represents Jonze’s first screen-writing credits and is definitely successful in that respect, winning several highly-prestigious awards in the process. The storyline is a traditional one, yet different from any you might know and incredibly absorbing. For me it was one of those films that draws you in very early on and just holds onto you until the credits are long gone. This I think is due to several different factors. Obviously the writing is very good and the acting performances also warrant mention here, with the top-billing going to names like Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Scarlett Johansson – a pretty good indication that something special is afoot here. The acting itself is, as you would expect from these names, of great quality. However this is not where the greatness ends. Visually this film is stunningly beautiful, with the colour schemes and cinematography (provided by DoP Hoyte Van Hoytema, who was also responsible as DoP for several other films such as Interstellar, The Fighter and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) combining to make a film that is simply very, very pretty to look at. This to the extent that makes Lost in Translation look potentially drab in comparison.

In accompaniment to the visual aspects of the film comes the soundtrack. I am a self-confessed lover of film-soundtrack as a genre of music but this one in particular is very poignant. Scored by the indie-rock band Arcade Fire, the soundtrack fits really very well with the film and the world created by the whole package. Creating a state that is deeply emotional but at the same time very calming and relaxed, the score is understated and lets the slightly unusual arrangements and simplicity of the tunes create the perfect companion to the film. If you feel so inclined I cannot advise you enough to simply listen to the soundtrack as a stand-alone activity. Both with and without having seen the film, it is heart–achingly beautiful and calming, and just generally good for the soul.

Here is a link to the Official Trailer which just begins to set the tone for the film and gives a brief glimpse into the world that is Her. Definitely a must-watch.